Wilmington Rotary Club


Wilmington Rotary Club was establiished in 1915 and - 100 Year Anniversary of service above Self

1915 2015

of service above Self

The Wilmington Rotary Club



March 28,


After 100 years, we don’t

have enough time or space

to list all the service that

Wilmington Rotary Club’s

members have provided to

our community and the world.

These are just a few examples.


is more than just a slogan.

It’s what it means to be a Rotarian.


100 years

of Service Above Self


The Wilmington Rotary Club

March 22, 2015

Published by

The Wilmington Rotary Club

P.O. Box 1194

Wilmington, NC 28402

Hansen Matthews, President, 2014-15

John H. Meyer, President-elect, 2015-16

Stacy Ankrum, Centennial Committee Chair

R.B. Richey, History Committee Chair

Howard McCain, Recognition Committee Chair


Russ LaBelle, Publisher

John H. Meyer, Editor

Vicki Alpern Scott, Advertising Manager

Primary research and feature writing:

Cathy Barlow

Cleve Callison

Mimi Cunningham

Lori Harris

Melissa Hight

Sandra Kalom

Russ LaBelle

John Meehl

Erin Payne

R.B. Richey

Donna Shiro

Joe Walser


Copyright 2015, The Wilmington Rotary Club

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


What is Rotary?

Rotary is an international service organization, founded

in 1905. Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer

leaders who dedicate their time and talent to tackle the

world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary’s

33,000 local clubs connect 1.2 million members from more

than 200 countries and geographical areas. The Rotary Foundation

provides financial support for projects worldwide.

‘Service Above Self’

During Rotary’s second convention in

1911, Ben Collins of Minneapolis talked with

Seattle Rotarian J.E. Pinkham about how to

organize a Rotary club. He offered the principle

his club had adopted: ‘Service, Not

Self.’ Rotary founder Paul P. Harris joined

the conversation and asked Collins to address

the convention. ‘Service, Not Self,’

quickly became an unofficial Rotary motto.

The 1950 convention officially adopted the

variation ‘Service Above Self.’

‘Whatever Rotary may

mean to us, to the world

it will be known by the

results it achieves.’

Paul P. Harris

The Four-Way Test

Rotary’s ethical foundation is this guide to “the

things we think, say or do.” It began as a guideline for

business, created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor

to help his manufacturing company out of threatened

bankruptcy during the Great Depression. In the 1940s,

Taylor offered Rotary International the rights to The

Four-Way Test. Rotary has used it ever since as its standard

for how Rotarians, and Rotary clubs, should act.

Is it the TRUTH?

Is it FAIR to all concerned?

Will it build GOODWILL and


Will it be BENEFICIAL to all


Founder Paul Harris in 1905.

1905: How it all Started

On February 23, 1905, a 36-year-old Chicago

lawyer named Paul P. Harris met with a small group of

business associates. He wanted to try to recreate in the

big city the close social relationships

typical of his small

Vermont home town. Because

the founders planned

to rotate their meetings to

each other’s places of business,

they called their new

group the “Rotary Club.”

To ensure that the club

had a cross-section of Chicago’s

business community,

Harris set up the system of

professional classifications for members that remains a

part of Rotary 110 years later.

Soon the idea spread, with a second Rotary club

being formed in San Francisco. Within five years, 16

clubs from coast to coast held Rotary’s first national

convention. The movement became international in

1912 with the chartering of clubs in Canada, Ireland

and England. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed

on six continents. The parent organization took the

name “Rotary International” the following year.

By July 1925, Rotary had grown to more than 2,000

clubs and an estimated 108,000 members.The Rotary

Foundation was soon created as the financial basis for

world-wide charitable work. After Paul Harris died in

1947, major contributors to the Foundation—$1,000 or

more—have been honored as Paul Harris Fellows.

Why a Gear Wheel?

From the beginning,

a wheel has

been Rotary’s symbol.

The first design

was a simple wagon

wheel, with a few

lines to show dust

and motion. It was

said to illustrate the

idea of “Civilization

and Movement.” Most early clubs used some

form of wagon wheel on their publications and

letterheads. Finally, in 1923, to achive consistency

world-wide, Rotary International adopted

the present gear wheel, with 24 cogs and

six spokes, for use by all clubs.

2 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Table of Contents

What is Rotary? How it started, and why . . . . 2

A century of leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

The first quarter century, 1915 to 1940

The early years: ‘Boosters’ form civic club . . . 5

TIMELINE: war, boom and depression . . . . . 7

Wilmington Rotary Club’s family tree . . . . . . 8

Salvation Army: a 90-year partnership . . . . . . 9

Orthopedic Clinic: eight decades of service . 11

ROTARY FOCUS: disease treatment . . . . . . . 14

View from Badge #1: 60 years in Rotary . . . 15

Rotary comes of age, 1940 to 1965

TIMELINE: World War and Cold War . . . . . 16

ROTARY FOCUS: mothers & children . . . . . 17

Ending polio, Rotary’s worldwide goal . . . . . 17

International study awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Student loans and scholarships. . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Amusements for a cause, and just for fun . . . 20

Social and cultural change, 1965 to 1990

Boys & Girls Homes of N.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Greenfield Park: amphitheater and wheel . . . 25

World’s Largest

Rotary Emblem

Brick walls outlining the Rotary Wheel Garden at Greenfield Park form

a Rotary symbol. This club and masonry students from the former Williston

High School built it in 1965, in honor of the club’s 50th anniversary.

The club added the central gazebo in 1990. A coalition of Wilmington-area

Rotary clubs has performed major facility and landscape improvements

in recent years. See page 25 for more about Rotary and Greenfield Park.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Getting to diversity: women in Rotary . . . . . . 28

TIMELINE: late 20th Century . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Habitat for Humanity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

A cleaner community: Adopt a Highway . . . 34

ROTARY FOCUS: economic development . . 34

The global, digital age, 1990 to 2015

TIMELINE: the Millenial era . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Backpacks for nutrition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Foreign exchanges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Leadership and service for youth . . . . . . . . . . 36

Williston Middle School: ‘Legacy Project’ . . 37

Literacy: books & tutoring for kids & adults. 42

ROTARY FOCUS: literacy & education . . . . 43

Clean water for the developing world . . . . . . 45

ROTARY FOCUS: water and sanitation . . . . 47

The peacekeepers: military and police . . . . . . 50

ROTARY FOCUS: peace & ending conflict . 51

101 reasons why I’m a Rotarian . . . . . . . . . . 52

Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Wilmington Rotary Club’s sponsors . . . . . . . 59

No Politics, No Endorsements

Although the Wilmington Rotary Club began

as a “booster” organization, it is now a strictly

non-partisan body, and does not take positions

on any public issue that will be brought to a

public vote.

The club’s Constitution, dated January 1,

1932, states:

Article IX—Avoidance of Politics

Section 1: This club shall not endorse or

recommend any candidate for public office and

shall not at any club meeting discuss the merits

or demerits of any such candidate.

Section 2: The merits of any public question

involving the social, economic, moral or physical

welfare of the people may be fairly and intelligently

studied and discussed before a club

meeting for the enlightenment of its members,

but this club shall not take any action endorsing

or condemning any measure which is to be

submitted to the vote of the people.


Diverse Professions Some of the club’s founders. First president, John R. Murchison, sold hardware; his successor, Roger Moore, manufactured bricks.

Carl Polvogt, retail

women’s clothing

Herbert McClammy,

attorney at law


Milton Calder,


Will Rehder, florist

A Century of Leadership

This photograph, from around 1965, shows the

Wilmington Rotary Club’s Board of Directors. It

includes one of the club’s founding members,

Roger Moore, and its longest-serving current

member, Franklin Floyd, president in 1963-64.

These two form a living link from 1915 to 2015.

Swift Boatwright,


Roger Moore

Charter Member

President, 1916-18

Meares Harriss,


W.D. MacMillan,

automobile dealer

Franklin Floyd

Badge #1, 2015

President, 1963-64


In the 1960s, typical of the time and place, the club’s membership was entirely

white and male. Seated, from left: Al Dickson; Gene Edwards, president 1942-43;

Ham Marks, president 1935-36; Roger Moore, president 1916-18; Robert Little;

George Tenuta; and Harold May, president 1964-65. Standing are William Harris,

president 1969-70; and Franklin Floyd, president 1963-64.

Since the gender barrier was broken in the

early 1990s, women have played essential

roles in the Wilmington Rotary Club’s growth

and service to the community. This photo

is of some of the club’s most active women

members in 2007, half of whom have served

as president. From left, top: Connie Majure-

Rhett, president 2007-08; Page Rutledge;

Vicki Scott; Donna Shiro, president 2006-07;

Stacy Ankrum, president 2011-12; Patrice

Willetts, president 2005-06; Melissa Hight,

president 2008-09. Bottom: Beth Boney Jenkins,

honorary member; the late Fran Young,

one of the club’s first two female members;

Sue Cause, honorary member.

Women Leaders Step Up

The Wilmington Rotary Club

is governed by a 16-member

Board of Directors. Each year,

five new directors are chosen

to serve a three-year term. The

board elects one of those five to

serve as club president during

the final year of that term. Of the

club’s 100 former presidents, 26

remain members.

4 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

‘Boosters’ Organized to Improve their Community

Wilmington will have one of the world-famed Rotary

clubs,” the Wilmington Morning Star’s readers

learned on February 3, 1915. The paper described

the newly formed group as a “booster organization.”

In a report on the club’s organizational meeting the

previous evening, the newspaper made

note of the “more than a score of business

men present” and that “the meeting

showed plenty of signs of life.” The story

concluded, “The club is going to get busy

at once.”

The brand-new organization’s first

minutes recorded 15 members. By the

time an official charter was issued to the

world’s 150th Rotary Club, two months

later, the roster recognized 43 newly

fledged Rotarians.

That new organization of business

leaders and professionals has grown and

evolved in the century since. From the

start, it has been involved in just about

every civic improvement in Wilmington.

The new Rotary club wasted no time

during the first year in seeking improvements

for Wilmington. These included:

Replacing strings of light bulbs

across Front Street with permanent incandescent


Asking the New Hanover County

commissioners to set aside land along

Smith Creek as industrial sites, to be

sold to new factories wanting to locate in


An effort to get better shipping

schedules from the Clyde Steamship

“The Rotary Club, while

not a new thing, has not

been known in this section

of the country except

in recent years. In Raleigh,

Atlanta, Richmond,

Baltimore and about 200

other cities, however, the

clubs are proving valuable

factors in the towns’


Wilmington Dispatch

February 2, 1915

Wilmington Morning

Star’ headline from

February 3, 2015

Line, which connected Wilmington with New York, Charleston,

Florida ports and the Caribbean.

Initiating efforts to buy the existing ferry and its rights

to cross the Cape Fear River as part of a movement to build

a bridge across the river.

A city-wide “clean-up” campaign aimed at removing

refuse from every property in Wilmington. The Rotary

clean-up project operated in parallel to the public sanitation

campaigns of New Hanover County’s controversial health

director, Dr. Charles Nesbitt, for whom the Nesbitt Courts

public housing project would later be named.

During its second year, the club focused

on issues affecting Wilmington’s

economy, such as recommending elimination

of barge pilot charges on the Cape

Fear River, securing more conventions at

Wrightsville Beach, and hosting a reception

for cotton manufacturers, who represented

the largest segment of the state’s

economy at that time.

When the United States entered

World War I in 1917, the club’s attention

turned to charitable causes. Wilmington

Rotarians donated

money to the

Florence Crittenton

Home, a

nationwide organization


supported unwed

mothers. The

club appointed

a committee to provide entertainment

and accommodations to soldiers at Fort

Caswell, the nearest Army base to Wilmington.

The club continued its advocacy

for transportation infrastructure, working

closely with the Wilmington Chamber

of Commerce to extend Carolina Beach

Road and to develop Wilmington as a

deep-water port.

In 1918, the World War’s second year for Americans,

the club continued its support of soldiers at Fort Caswell,

and conducted a campaign to buy a site to be used as a shipyard.

A club committee raised funds from area businessmen

which, when combined with appropriations from the City of

Wilmington, were used to secure state support for deepening

John W. Murchison was

the club’s first president

The Wilmington club traces

its origins to a railroad man from

Richmond, Va., named C.C. Corkran.

A member of the Richmond Rotary

Club, he had “recently removed to

Wilmington” in 1915. He presided at

the Wilmington club’s organization

meeting, and was named “temporary

chairman” until it was chartered.

Transportation Improvement: From Toll Ferry to Free Bridges




early years

Lack of a bridge across the Cape Fear River was one of the first issues the Rotary

Club tackled. The ferry ‘John Knox’ was the only way to cross when the club began

in 1915. More than a decade of lobbying, and even an attempt to buy the ferry, finally

resulted in a pair of drawbridges that opened in 1929 and served for 50 years. This

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

postcard shows the Northeast Cape Fear River span, where North Third Street now

meets the Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway. No longer needed in Wilmington, the ferry

finished its days shuttling across Tampa Bay in Florida, where it is seen in this postcard

image from the 1930s. Rotary worked to end bridge tolls, finally lifted in 1935.


. . . ‘Boosters Organized’

the Cape Fear River’s channel and persuading Henry Ford to

locate his shipbuilding plant here. Another club committee

was appointed to investigate establishing a plant to manufacture

flour from sweet potatoes.

As World War I ended, the club expanded its civic involvement

to include care for children and city infrastructure

improvements. The club urged all Rotary clubs in North

Carolina to contribute more money for the Fort Caswell

Training School for disabled children. The club agreed to a

dollar-for-dollar match for any money New Hanover County

paid to keep families together, rather than placing children in

orphanages. The club’s concerns extended overseas, too. It

raised $8,000 to help “Suffering Children in Europe.”

In 1919, a club committee pushed the proprietor of The

Dispatch newspaper to stop publishing reports of juvenile

court cases. In 1920, the club supported development of Babies’

Hospital at Wrightsville Sound, an institution that continued

until the 1970s. In 1926, the club began a night school

for boys who had to work for a living.

It is noteworthy that even in its earliest years, the Wilmington

Rotary Club worked on causes that are still among the

Better lighting for downtown was an early Rotary Club cause. A club campaign

resulted in the replacement of these strings of bulbs with permanent streetlights. A

parallel campaign aimed to establish public restrooms in the business district.

Rotary movement’s primary areas of focus. These include

economic and community development, literacy and basic

education, sanitation, maternal and child health, and disease

prevention and cure.

In its first decade, the club worked actively with the

City Council in making street improvements and beautifying

the city by planting trees. Specific club activities were ef-

Atlantic Coast Line Railroad headquarters, at downtown’s north end, drew railway

man C.C. Corkran from Richmond, Va. to Wilmington, where he helped found Rotary

Club. View is from the Hotel Wilmington, which was the club’s first meeting place.

Electrified beach railway was the only access to Wrightsville Beach in 1915. The

first causeway for automobile traffic was built in the 1920s. To boost tourism, Rotary

Club worked to have causeway acquired as a public highway and tolls eliminated.

Working industrial waterfront seen in this early-20th-century postcard is now site of

Wilmington Convention Center and of Coast Line Center, where Rotary Club meets in

2015. Part of club’s 1915 agenda was to improve steamship service to Wilmington.

Bustling North Front Street was heart of Wilmington’s business district in 1915.

Murchison Building, city’s tallest, was two years old. Local business leaders were

eager to form the state’s second Rotary club, following Raleigh’s by just one year.

6 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

forts to buy land behind the Custom House, to build a wharf

at the City Market, to reduce power rates and improve the

quality of gas from the local utility, Tidewater Power, and to

join the Chamber of Commerce in supporting a new hotel.

Throughout the 1920s, the Wilmington Rotary Club

continued its contributions for improvements to the Wilmington

community. These included the enlargement and

beautification of Greenfield Park, the establishment of an

orthopedic clinic, and service to youth through what was

called the Boys’ Work Program.

The night school for boys was funded at a cost of

$1,200 in its first year. The Rotary school enrolled 44 boys in

September 1926. The club continued to support that education

initiative until 1931, finally concluding that the state and

county schools were better qualified to continue the work.

The club’s minutes noted that “boys who are obliged to work

. . . for a living should not be penalized by being deprived of

the opportunity of an education at the expense of the state.”

The 1930s were difficult years for the Rotary Club, as

they were for most of America. The Great Depression forced

the club to suspend some of its causes for lack of money,

but Rotarians continued support for the Orthopedic Clinic,

for development of Greenfield Park, and for various “relief”

efforts for the poor and unemployed.

The club’s long-standing partnership with the Salvation

In July 1916, three Rotarians left from Wilmington’s Union Station to represent their

club at Rotary’s national convention in Cincinnati. They carried a resolution calling

on President Woodrow Wilson to urge international disarmament in the face of a

world war. A year later, the United States was in that war, and the Rotary Club was

providing accommodation and entertainment for soldiers from nearby Army bases.

Army began at least as early as 1933, when seven Rotarians

volunteered to help with Christmas-time relief work.

By the end of the Wilmington Rotary Club’s first quarter

century, in 1940, it was working closely with the Chamber of

Commerce to secure the shipyard, which would profoundly

transform Wilmington during World War II.

Researched and written by Sandra Kalom and R.B. Richey

War & Depression: 1915 to 1940

Our club’s first quarter century

began and ended with

world wars, and spanned both

the boom times of the “Roaring

20s” and the economic catastrophe

of the Great Depression.

Here are some key dates.

1915: The Wilmington Rotary

Club founded with 41 members.

1915: Williston School opens

in new brick building.

1916: Federal Courthouse

built on Wilmington waterfront.

1917: United States declares

war on Germany.

1917: Bolshevik revolution

creates Communist state in


1918: World War I ends.

1919: Treaty of Versailles is

signed; U.S. Senate fails to ratify

or to join League of Nations.

1919: Women gain right to

vote; Prohibition of alcohol

sales takes effect.

1920: New Hanover High

School opens to students.

1921: Community Hospital

built to serve African-Americans.

1922: Rotary club establishes

orthopedic clinic.

1925: High-speed highway to

Wrightsville Beach, now Oleander

Drive, opens to traffic.

1926: Causeway permits automobile

travel to Wrightsville


1928: Wilmington airport (Bluethenthal

Field) established.

1928: “World’s Largest Living

Christmas Tree” lit for first time.

1929: “Twin bridges” open

across Cape Fear River.

1929: Stock market crash begins

Great Depression.

1932: Intracoastal Waterway

completed in New Hanover


1931: Lakeshore Drive completed

around Greenfield Lake.

1935: Wilmington’s first radio

station, now WMFD, on the air.

1936: Italy invades Ethiopia;

Spanish Civil War begins.

1937: Japan invades China.

1939: Partial collapse of

Wilmington City Hall; renovation

staves off calls for demolition.

1939: Seacoast Railroad’s

beach trolleys stop running.

1939: Germany invades Poland,

beginning World War II.

1940: Taylor Homes and

Nesbitt Courts, North Carolina’s

first public housing, open in


1940: Construction of Wilmington

Shipyard begins.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


Wilmington Rotary

Club’s Family Tree

The Rotary Club of Richmond, founded 1913


Wilmington Rotary Club*, 1915

New Bern, 1920

Morehead City*, 1925

Beaufort*, 1928

Newport, 1949

Havelock, 1988

Morehead City Noon*, 1981

Morehead City Lookout*, 1988

Morehead City After Hours*, 2009

Vanceboro, 1945

Oriental, 1951

New Bern Breakfast, 1983

Clinton*, 1923

Dunn, 1924

Red Springs*, 1926

Lumberton*, 1928

Fairmont*, 1930

Lillington, 1937

Warsaw*, 1924 (now “Duplin”)

Elizabethtown*, 1928

Bladenboro*, 1937

Clarkton*, 1938

Garland†, 1979

Chadbourn*, 1939

Fair Bluff*, 1954

Roseboro†, 1928

Clinton-Sampson County*, 1986

Whiteville*, 1924

Tabor City*, 1937

Burgaw*, 1949

Wallace*, 1954

Wilmington East*, 1963

Wilmington West*, 1988

Wilmington Cape Fear*, 1986

Southport*, 1986

South Brunswick Islands*, 1987

Wilmington South*, 1997

Wilmington Central*, 2000

Shallotte*, 2002

Coastal Pender*, 2009

Leland*, 2010

New Rotary clubs are sponsored by existing clubs. Each of those listed is a

direct “descendant” of the Wilmington club, sometimes through joint sponsorship

with a second club, sometimes as a “grandchild,” “great-grandchild,” etc.

* clubs are in Rotary District 7730. † club has since dissolved.

A very small sampling of recent Rotary ringers: Jim Summerlin, Joe Rogers and

past President Donna Shiro; past President Mimi Cunningham and Howard McCain.

8 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Salvation Army a Rotary Partner More Than 90 years

By R.B. Richey

After drinking away three good careers and two marriages,

Jeff Grable has turned his life around. He

credits his new years of sobriety after 41 years of alcoholism

to “God removing the taste of alcohol for me,” and

to the support he has received from Wilmington’s Salvation

Army chapter. Grable’s life is just one of the thousands the

Salvation Army has touched, with help from the Wilmington

Rotary Club, since the 1920s.

The Salvation Army

met his most basic human

needs by providing him

food and lodging at its

homeless shelter. Grable

also got part-time employment,

sorting donated

clothing, at the Salvation

Army’s Thrift Store at 820

N. Second St.

As he approaches his

mid-fifties, his passion is

to return to commercial

diving. He has a goal to

qualify for as many diving

certifications as he can

get. His love for the sea fits

Jeff Grable credits Wilmington’s Salvation

Army with helping him overcome alcoholism,

get an education and rebuild his life.

well with his studies in the Marine Technology program at

Cape Fear Community College where he is getting his degree

with the help of Pell Grants and a student loan.

During this transition, the Salvation Army continues to

support Grable through “life skills” classes on week nights

at the Salvation Army’s shelter. The classes focus on basic,

practical subjects like leading a healthy life and living within

your budget.

He is now a recovering alcoholic, filled with ambition

and facing a promising future. Because the Salvation Army

“gave me a ‘hand up’ instead of a ‘hand-out,’” Grable said,

“I am forever grateful to the leadership and staff here in


In 1923, the Wilmington

Rotary Club

contributed funding

to build the Salvation

Army Citadel

on South Front

Street. The church

has since moved to

new facilities; the

building is now a

bed and breakfast

inn. Salvation Army

emblem is still visible

in a stone relief

on the building’s


A history of bell-ringing

In the early 1990s, Rotarians Brett Blizzard, Chris McKeithan and Darryl Bruestle

collected money for the Salvation Army at downtown Post Office. McKeithan and

Bruestle, past presidents of the Wilmington Rotary Club, remain active members.

The Salvation Army was first established in Wilmington

on January 30, 1887. It has had a continuous presence in this

area since 1905, helping people like Grable. The services

it provides here have changed as Wilmington’s needs have

changed. For example, the Salvation Army operated a home

for unwed mothers in Wilmington, called the Emergency

Home for Girls, from 1919 to 1973. During most of that

time, a pregnant unmarried young

woman was sometimes rejected by

her parents, and often scorned by her

friends and neighbors. The Salvation

Army provided a true refuge for

these girls, helping them cope with

their emotions and supporting them

and their newborn children.

Wilmington’s first Salvation





Army Thrift Store opened in 1971 on South Third Street,

and its first homeless shelter in 1974 in a historic house on

Nun Street.

The Wilmington Rotary Club’s partnership with the

Salvation Army began in 1923. That year, Wilmington Rotarians

helped fund construction of the Salvation Army Citadel—its

church building—at 215 South Front Street. The

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


uilding still stands, now a bed-and-breakfast inn. Since

1927, members of the Rotary Club have volunteered to

serve as bell ringers at Christmas time, as fund raisers, board

members, and in many other capacities.

The Salvation Army’s

services range far beyond

its help for the homeless.

It offers important help to

families and others every

year, as the example of

Madeline Evens illustrates.

She is a member of

the Salvation Army Church

at Third and Ann streets.

She says that following the

church’s beliefs, and with

support from its programs,

A part-time job and Salvation Army programs

are allowing Madeline Evens to care

for five grandchildren, including one who is

coping with serious medical issues.

she is able to care for

young four grandchildren

and stretch the family budget

to pay medical bills.

Evens lives in her

oldest son’s household, caring for the grandchildren: a tenyear-old

girl, twin eight-year-old boy and girl, and a fiveyear-old

boy. This living arrangement is necessary because

her son works in Philadelphia as a contractor and his wife

is on disability and requires help raising the children. In addition,

Madeline’s oldest

granddaughter, 24 years

old, has a life-threatening

form of lupus.

The high cost of

medications impose a

continuing financial burden

on the family.

Evens helps make

ends meet through her

part-time job as a cook at

the Salvation Army kitchen

at 820 N. Second St.

She and the four grandchildren

are active in the

Lt. Col. Harold J. ‘Andy’ Anderson, 1934-2014

Salvation Army Church,

riding there and home

again in a Salvation Army

van. The grandchildren

are all “junior soldiers”

and participate in one of

the Army’s youth organizations.

The ten-yearold

girl is a member of

the Girl Guard, a group

similar to the Girl Scouts.

The eight-year-old girl is

a Sunbeam, comparable

to a Brownie, and her

twin brother is in the Adventure

Corps, like Cub Scouts. The five year-old girl is a

Moonbeam, for boys and girls not yet in first grade.

These organizations offer fun activities for the children,

but also educational help through the Salvation Army when

school is not in session.

One of these popular summer

courses teaches children

how to use a computer.

Evens and her grandchildren

have received other

benefits through the Salvation

Army. She receives food

cards that can be used at area

supermarkets. The Salvation

Army gave her a voucher to

replace a washing machine

that no longer worked with

one that had been donated to the Thrift Store. She will use

another voucher to replace a broken clothes dryer. The most

memorable support from the Salvation Army, as far as Evens

is concerned, is what “makes Christmas for my grandchildren

extra special.” This is the Salvation Army’s “Angel

Tree” package of food, clothes, and toys distributed during

the Christmas holidays.

Like Grable, Evens firmly believes that “As long as you

help yourself, the Salvation Army will help you.” Most people

recognize the Salvation Army around Christmas time,

when volunteers stand in

front of department and

grocery stores ringing

bells alongside the familiar

red kettles.

Each year, members

of the Wilmington Rotary

Club volunteer at Sam’s

Club off College Road.

Rotarians from other

Wilmington area clubs, as

well as members of other

Wilmington civic clubs,

volunteer at many other


Maj. Richard M. Watts

Commanders as Rotarians

The commanders of the Wilmington Salvation

Army have typically been Rotarians. The late Andy

Anderson was a lifelong Rotarian and a devoted musician.

He loved to lead the Wilmington Rotary Club

in singing, a time-honored Rotary tradition that has

mostly died out, at least in this club. Richard Watts,

current Salvation Army commander in Wilmington,

was assigned to do relief work at the Pentagon in the

aftermath of the “9/11” terrorist attack in 2001.

Contributions into

those many Christmas

kettles are the Wilmington

Salvation Army’s

main source of income to

support its array of social

services. These include

shelter meals and lodging,

educational classes,

disaster support services

and community care

ministries. Collectively,

these funds serve more

than 50,000 people in the

Wilmington area.

10 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Dr. Bruce Dorman, left, an orthopedic surgeon, and fellow Rotarian Leonard Alpern,

the clinic’s committee’s long-time chairman, with an orthopedic clinic patient and

By Cleve Callison


search for “orthopedic surgeons” in today’s Wilmington

directories yields rich results—at least twelve

M.D.s in one recent survey, not to mention numerous

physician assistants, physical therapists and others. But in

the 1920s the city had exactly . . . zero. None. Not a single

orthopedic surgeon, at a time when accidents, birth defects

and the crippling scourge of polio meant a lifetime of pain

and limitation for many, especially children. The young

Wilmington Rotary club was determined to change that

bleak outlook.

For over 80 years, the Wilmington Orthopedic Clinic,

supported by Rotary, served patients in southeastern North

Carolina. Its establishment and continuity over the decades,

through the Depression, wars and unimaginable changes in

the medical profession, remains a point of great pride for

Rotarians, a shining example of the principle of Service

Above Self.

Records from October 31, 1922 show the club had decided

to establish an orthopedic clinic to serve the Wilmington

area. The context of the young club’s efforts was a

nationwide effort that had gathered momentum in the early

1920s, to screen and work with children with handicaps.

her mother in this undated photo from the early 1960s. Dorman was director of the

clinic until his untimely death in 1991.

Orthopedic Clinic Provided Eight Decades of Care

In that effort, poliomyelitis, osteomyelitis, cerebral

palsy, congenital deformities and bone tuberculosis were

identified as chief causes of bone

deformation and crippling disabilities.

Unfortunately, club records are

incomplete from some years in the

mid-1920s. But surviving records

show that the club’s actual sponsorship

of the clinic apparently began

sometime between April 24, 1924

and June 28, 1926, with a focus on






The club concluded an agreement with Dr. Alonzo Myers,

an orthopedic surgeon from Charlotte, to staff a clinic

that would meet monthly in Wilmington. Dr. Myers would

be paid a stipend of $15 for each visit, which was to cover

his professional fees and travel expenses.

Bills from that era give an idea of what medical services

cost, and indirectly how much help some patients needed. A

1926 invoice itemizes X-rays of the spine at $10 each; a hip

and a pelvis X-ray for $5 each. In 1929, the Carolina Brace

& Shoe Shop of Charlotte billed the club $35 for one stiffknee

leg brace for a patient named Katie. An accompanying

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


“No finer piece of work can be accomplished

in any community than that being

done in this section by the Rotary club.”

Wilmington Morning Star

January 25, 1928

note from Dr. Myers explained, “This is the little . . . girl the

committee has seen, I believe.”

Anyone who has experienced the frustrations and delays

of traveling to Charlotte today on U.S. 74 can appreciate

what it must have been like for Dr. Myers to make that

200-mile trip to Wilmington in the 1920s. The Herman W.

Blizzard Rotary Archive at UNCW’s Randall Library is full

of records—formal letters, carbon copies, scraps of paper—

detailing the frustrations Dr. Myers experienced not only in

getting to Wilmington, but in getting paid. A telegram dated

May 3, 1927 tells one story:









The archives contain frequent correspondence with Dr.

Myers’ office, various state offices dealing with rehabilitation

and other medical issues, and with local Rotary officials.

Other documents attest to late or missing payments and reimbursements.

They show that many if not all cases were individually

referred to the club for action and approval. Often

the poignant circumstances of the patients were described in

detail for the club, or at least for the key decision-makers,

in a striking contrast to current notions of medical privacy.

No records exist, it seems, of any disapprovals. “No one was

ever turned away,” confirms Rotarian Frank Floyd, a professional

in braces and prosthetics who volunteered with the

clinic for many years (see “The View from Badge #1”).

A newspaper story in the Wilmington Morning Star of

January 25, 1928, offers a window into the Clinic’s workings

in its early days. The headline reads “Work Worth $8,893

Done for Cripples at Cost of $620.33.” The subhead adds,

“Unfortunates from New Hanover and Surrounding Counties

Given Wealth of Relief in Orthopedic Clinic Being Conducted

Under Auspices of the Local Rotary Club; Dr. Myers

Explains Work and Offers Exhibits.”

The story tells of Dr. Myers’ presentation involving

“lantern slides” (shades of PowerPoint!) and “human specimens,

bringing in a large number of children . . . who have

been under his care.” The story notes that “In each instance

practically a complete change was seen.” Dr. Myers reported

224 patients seen, involving 79 casts, 17 braces, 200 orthopedic

shoes, 1 artificial limb, 20 X-rays, and 22 operations in

Wilmington and 16 in Charlotte.

Also present at this noteworthy meeting were Rotarians

from other clubs and H.L. Stanton, the supervisor of

vocational rehabilitation for the state Department of Public

Instruction. That office helped supply some of the clinic’s

funding. Several health workers from New Hanover and

other counties attended. The story describes how “Many of

them were amazed with the work undertaken, but all agreed

that no finer piece of work can be accomplished in any community

than that being done in this section by the Rotary


By 1928, Rotary’s annual contributions to the Orthopedic

Clinic totaled $1,000, a considerable sum at the time.

But the Great Depression sorely tested the club’s ability to

continue the clinic from 1929 onwards. It was dropped from

Therapeutic swim program was established in the early 1950s. Instructors

offered both swimming lessons and physical therapy. Rotarian Adam Smith

donated seed money to get the program started.

12 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

the official budget, yet members making individual contributions

kept it going in those difficult years. After many

years as a voluntary project it was made an official budget

item again; exactly when that happened is not clear from the

surviving records. As Frank Floyd says, “When there was no

other way, Rotarians would pick up the tab.”

Physicians assisting the club in the 1940s were from

the practice of Drs. Miller, Roberts, Winkler and Jacob (later

The Miller Orthopaedic Clinic). They billed the “Crippled

Children’s Clinic,” also known as the “Wilmington Orthopaedic


During the 1952-53 Rotary Year, according to a report

from club President Joseph B. Fox, Jr., “A swimming class

for handicapped children, with a team of instructors present

to give supervised exercises as well as swimming lessons,

was established.” Rotarian Adam Smith provided financial

support and helped to coordinate the program.

In the early 1950s, when Floyd arrived in Wilmington,

incidents of crippling polio were at their height. “We had

polio like crazy,” he recalls. “We didn’t know whether it was

airborne. It wasn’t, but we didn’t know that. To see kids in

iron lungs . . . it was awful. I saw a lot of terrible things.”

Finally, by the 1950s Wilmington began to see orthopedic

surgeons establish local practices, often making the

committee’s task easier. But not always. Floyd recalls two

surgeons in that era, one of whom eventually left town—

“burnt out,” as he tells it.

By the 1960s Wilmington had seen others establish

A 1976 clipping from the ‘Hanover

Sun’ newspaper shows Dr. Jim Hundley,

a Rotarian and orthopedic surgeon,

examining an infant at the orthopedic

clinic. He joined the club the previous

year, sponsored by his professional

mentor and partner, clinic stalwart Dr.

Bruce Dorman.

Hundley is lampooned as “President

Bone-A-Part” at his induction as Rotary

president in 1987. He remains an active


Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

‘Polio was something you

had no defense against,

that hit without logic or

reason. . . . it could be you

or your children.’

Larry Alexander, polio patient,1955

local practices, at least five of whom contributed their services.

Prominent among them was Rotarian Dr. Bruce Dorman.

By 1965 club funding of the clinic totaled $2,090,

providing support for X-rays, braces, bandages, medicines,

wheelchairs and other items. The clinic was held monthly

at James Walker Memorial Hospital, serving an average of

100 patients each time. Its volunteer staff included Rotarians

skilled in orthopedic surgery, radiology and prosthetics,

Frank Floyd’s specialty.

The practitioners didn’t always agree. Floyd recalls one

incident when a surgeon had recommended traction for a

patient with a severely broken leg, as was common. After

six weeks the bone had still not joined properly. Floyd told

the surgeon, “I can get that guy walking tomorrow, but you

couldn’t do it in six weeks.” The patient was walking the

next day, he recalls with satisfaction.

To provide sustained long-term support for the clinic,

Rotarian John Colucci donated seed money to establish an

endowment. Support also came from Cooperative Savings

and Loan, which started

a Wishing Well to

encourage community

support. Interest earned

from this source supported

the clinic for

many years.

By 1973, the water

therapy program

had become institutionalized,

with $2,500

in Rotary support, as

the YMCA’s “Adaptive

Swim Program.”

In 1974, problems

with hardwood exports

had created a shortage

of crutches. The Rotary

Club organized a campaign

for people to donate

used, unneeded crutches at the hospital.

Therapists help an orthopedic patient into the

pool in an undated photo from the 1960s.

Many members of the Wilmington Rotary club have

been involved in the orthpedic clinic’s work over the years.

Leonard Alpern led the clinic committee for 26 years. Frank

Floyd and his son Mike, both Rotarians, were involved with

the clinic for decades.

Eventually, changes in the medical landscape on the local,

state and national levels meant the end of the need for


Clippings from a special newspaper section commemorating the Wilmington

Rotary Club’s 61st anniversary in 1976 featured Orthopedic Clinic patient John

Stubbs, left, with nurse daphne Jeffords. At the time, 11 doctors were donating

their services and the clinic operated twice a month.

Rotary Focus

Disease prevention and treatment

Our members educate and mobilize communities

to help prevent the spread of major

diseases such as polio, HIV/AIDS, and malaria.

Many of our projects ensure that medical

training facilities are located where the

workforce lives. Rotarians work to prevent

disease and promote health by:

1. Improving the capacity of local health

care professionals.

2. Promoting disease prevention programs,

with the goal of limiting the spread

of communicable diseases and reducing the

incidence of and complications from noncommunicable


3. Enhancing the health infrastructure of

local communities.

4. Educating and mobilizing communities

to help prevent the spread of major diseases.

5. Preventing physical disability resulting

from disease or injury.

6. Supporting studies for career-minded

professionals related to disease prevention

and treatment.

Mary Ammons, who had been a clinic patient since the age of 6, returned to work

as a volunteer. From ‘Hanover Sun,’ February 25, 1976.

the Orthopedic Clinic. The scourge of polio that had crippled

so many, especially in the late 1940s and early 1950s, mercifully

had been defeated by the vaccines developed by Dr.

Jonas Salk and later Dr. Alfred Sabin. Rotary, of course, has

long been a key part of the worldwide effort to eliminate this

plague in every country of the globe.

By the late 1990s, the clinic’s focus had narrowed to

patients under 21, most of them with birth defects. Six doctors

were seeing 30 to 50 children a month.

Today the state-run Medicaid program provides support

for some—mostly children and disabled adults. Floyd notes

that the advent of Medicaid permitted doctors to see those

patients in their offices for the first time, rather than in a

clinic. And of course Medicaid has taken over the budgeted

and voluntary contributions for those patients that long distinguished

the Wilmington Rotary Club’s support.

James Walker Memorial Hospital, site of the clinic for

many years, is no more, its role taken over by New Hanover

Memorial Hospital—now New Hanover Regional Medical

Center—in 1967. “That was a big day in Wilmington,” when

the new hospital opened, Floyd recalls. The hospital’s orthopedic

services provide local surgeons and other skilled professionals

the opportunity to serve on a scale that the clinic’s

founders could hardly have imagined.

It officially ceased operating in 2003, more than 80

years after it was first envisioned by Rotary, leaving a profound

legacy of hope and service.

But those early Rotarians’ vision has not disappeared.

Rotarians were there when no one else was. Through their

work, thousands of area residents found comfort, relief and

an opportunity to overcome obstacles in their lives—a living

legacy of Service Above Self.

14 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

The View From Badge #1: Recalling 60 Years in Rotary

By Cleve Callison

When Samuel Warshauer died in 2013 at the age of

99, by Rotary custom, Frank Floyd as the nextlongest-serving

member received the honored

badge #1. How does he feel about that? Simply:

“I’m a relic.”

If a relic, Floyd is one with a twinkle in his eye

and lots of memories, beginning with his introduction

to the Wilmington Rotary Club in 1954. The

young man from Gallivant’s Ferry, S.C. (“where the

Little Pee Dee and the Great Pee Dee meet to form

the Atlantic Ocean,” Floyd says) brought his wartime

training in orthopedic supplies and procedures

to Wilmington. He was inducted in September 1955

and quickly became active in Rotary while establishing

a flourishing business. That business continues

today under his son and fellow Rotarian Mike.

The Wilmington Rotary Club has been involved

in many community projects in the 60 years

Floyd has been in the club. But what strikes him

most about his years of service is the change in the

membership’s composition and makeup. When he

first joined, membership—as everywhere in Rotary—was

strictly defined by business and professional

status. Members were required to be decision-makers

in a business (preferably the president,

or at least vice-president), or professional such as

doctors or lawyers. Even those were strictly limited.

Rotary’s “classifications” policy was rigidly enforced.

In Floyd’s early days, typically only one representative was

allowed for each industry or profession—no competition allowed.

“If you were an attorney, you had that locked up,”

he said. Prospective members were proposed and screened

without their knowledge. Being invited to a club meeting

generally meant the prospect had already passed muster and

was ready to be admitted.

These policies set Rotarians apart from other clubs,

Floyd said, and at least partly as a result, “Rotary was organized

by leaders in the community—the makers and the

shakers.” But gradually, starting in the 1960’s, the rules

eased, not just in Wilmington but in Rotary International.

And the clubs grew. Today’s Wilmington membership of

over 200 far outnumbers the 75 or so when he joined. “When

we broke 100, boy, we thought we were doing something.”

Attendance policies were strictly enforced. “That was

one of the things that set it apart. Attendance was a must.

… You had to attend three out of four, or they’d drop you,”

Floyd recalls. “People would drive to Jacksonville, Whiteville,

even to Raleigh to make up.”

The practical outcome of these policies was that, as

in many Rotary chapters, the club that had begun all white

and all male stayed that way for a long time. But change

came, even to an organization as traditional as Rotary, and

as southern as the Wilmington club. Not every member was

happy when, by orders from no less than the U.S. Supreme

Frank Floyd, 1965

Frank Floyd, 2013

Court, women were admitted. “It was like, ‘Well, here we

go. Going to hell.’ But it was a positive step.” Of Mimi Cunningham,

who in 1994 became the first woman president,

he says simply, “She was the right person at the right time.”

(Mimi Cunningham writes about the club’s

stuggle to diversify its membership on page 30.)

And of Linda Pearce, the first African-American

woman in the club, starting in 1992: “You

crossed two bridges at the same time.”

Putting into practice Rotary’s motto of Service

Above Self, in the 1960’s Floyd found himself

president of two PTAs when local schools were racially

integrating, with great unease in the community.

“I can’t be sitting on the sidelines,” he said. “I

gotta be part of it.” He ran for the Board of Education,

narrowly missing getting elected. In hindsight

he said, “I’m glad I didn’t.”

Others in those troubled times asked Floyd to

put his children into private schools. He declined,

saying he wanted his children “to learn to live as

equals” with others.

In the early 1960s, the Rotary Club led the

campaign to build the amphitheater, and later the

Rotary Wheel Garden, at Greenfield Park.

With fellow Rotarian Whitey Prevatte, Floyd

began a campaign to make sure the Rotary Wheel

at Greenfield was named for Dr.

Heber W. Johnson, the driving

force behind both projects, “before it was

too late.” Johnson, Floyd says, was “responsible

for the whole thing” as president, partly

by doing the work himself but largely by

driving and inspiring others.

Looking back on his long career and

association with Rotary, Floyd is humble.

“I’ve been blessed,” he says. “Beyond belief.”

Seeing the effects of crippling disease, and knowing

he was part of the help sufferers received, has given him

perspective about his life, his business and his service. “I

made a living . . . I did a lot better than I ever expected to do.

And I finally concluded that all you need in life is what you

need. Not what you want. What you need. You got that, you

got enough.”

In addition to his decades-long work with the Rotary

Club’s Orthopedic Clinic, Floyd takes great satisfaction in

the work on those Greenfield Lake projects, especially the

Rotary Wheel, with his colleagues Dr. Johnson and Leonard

Alpern. All work on the Wheel and the amphitheater, he

notes, was done by volunteers. The club recruited a teacher

at Williston High School to put his students to work on the

masonry. The students laid all the brick themselves.

A great Rotary project, to be sure, and one accomplished

in a very creative way. As Floyd says, “For $3,000

we got a $35,000 project done.”

Not a bad legacy for a relic. Not bad at all.

Dr. Heber Johnson

at Rotary Wheel


Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


Rotary’s Areas of Focus

The Rotary Foundation, and Rotary clubs

around the world, concentrate their work and their

resources on projects that fall under one of six

“Areas of Focus.” They are: peace and conflict

resolution, disease prevention and cure, water

supply and sanitation, maternal and child health,

literacy and basic education, and economic and

community development.

A young patient is examined at Orthopedic Clinic. Rotarian Mortimer Glover

is at right. In the 1950s, two Rotary ‘helpers’ worked at each clinic session.

World War & Cold War: 1940 to 1965

Our club’s second quarter

century was a time of tremendous

challenge and change,

starting with all-out war, and

ending with Wilmington and

America in the throes of social

and economic transformation.

Here are some key dates.

1940: Construction of Wilmington

Shipyard begins.

1941: United States begins

first-ever peacetime draft.

1941: Cape Davis Army

base at Holly Ridge and Camp

Lejeune Marine Corps base at

Jacksonville are established.

1941: Germany invades Soviet

Union, widening the war.

1941: Japan attacks Pearl

Harbor and the United States

enters World War II.

1944: D-Day invasion begins

liberation of Western Europe.

1945: Germany surrenders.

After two atomic bombings, Japan

surrenders. WWII ends.

1946: Wilmington annexes

Forest Hills and Sunset Park.

1946: Wilmington Shipyard


1947: Wilmington College

founded as two-year institution.

1948: Rotary club establishes

student loan fund.

1948: First flight of Piedmont

Airlines made from Wilmington.

1948: First Azalea Festival.

1949: Berlin blockade and

airlift signal start of Cold War.

1950: Korean War begins.

1953: State Ports Authority

opens Wilmington terminal on

former shipyard site.

1953: Korean war ends.

1954: Brown v. Board of Education

case declares racial segregation

of public schools to be


1954: Wilmington’s first television

station, WMFD-TV, now

WECT, goes on the air.

1954: Hurricane Hazel devastates

southeastern North

Carolina’s beaches.

1955: Atlantic Coast Line

Railroad announces move of its

headquarters to Florida.

1956: Martin Luther King, Jr.

leads bus boycott in Montgomery,


1956: “Committee of 100”

founded to expand and diversify

Wilmington’s industrial base.

1957: Soviet Union launches

Sputnik, beginning space age.

1959: Wilmington Industrial

Education Center founded, predecessor

to Cape Fear Community


1960: Atlantic Coast Line

Railroad closes Wilmington

headquarters, moves hundreds

of employees and families.

1960: Wilmington College

moves to new campus on College


1961: Alan Shepard becomes

first American in space.

1961: Rotary Club builds

Greenfield Park Amphitheater.

1961: Battleship North Carolina

arrives in Wilmington.

1962: Wilmington establishes

Historic District.

1962: Cuban missile crisis

threatens nuclear war.

1963: President John F. Kennedy


1964: Federal Civil RIghts

Act outlaws racial segregation.

1965: Rotary International

begins Group Study Exchange.

1965: World’s largest Rotary

symbol built at Greenfield Park

in celebration of Wilmington

club’s 50th anniversary.

16 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Rotary Focus

Maternal and child health

At least 7 million children under the age of

five die each year due to malnutrition, poor

health care, and inadequate sanitation. We

provide immunizations and antibiotics to babies,

improve access to medical services,

and support trained health care providers.

Our projects ensure sustainability by empowering

the communities to take ownership

of health care training programs. Rotarians

work to improve the health of mothers

and their children by:

1. Reducing mortality and morbidity rate

for children under the age of five.

2. Reducing the maternal mortality and

morbidity rate.

3. Improving access to essential medical

services, trained community health leaders,

and health care providers for mothers and

their children.

4. Supporting studies for professionals

related to maternal and child health.

Rotary Still Aids Clinics

Since the Orthopedic Clinic closed in 2003, the Rotary

Club has lent its support to other local health initiatives.

The former Tileston Clinic, which was named for the

historic school building where it once operated. The clinic

was started in 1991 by three doctors, members of St. Mary

Catholic Church, in the basement of the church school.

The purpose was to give medical care for chronic conditions

to poor people who lacked health benefits. Rotary

provided funds to the clinic before it outgrew the Tileston

space in 2007 and relocated. Now the Cape Fear Clinic, it is

now near New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Still in the Tileston building is the St. Mary Dental

Clinic. It offers essential pain-relief services, mainly extractions,

for people who can’t pay for other dental care.

Wilmington Rotarian Coleman Burgess III, a dentist, volunteers

at the St. Mary clinic.

Dr. Burgess and another dentist, fellow Rotarian Gabriel

Rich, joined forces in early 2014 to support a new dental

health education, screening and treatment program for

low-income children. The Wilmington Rotary Club’s Board

of Directors voted to contribute $1,000 to that project.

Working with dental hygiene students from Cape Fear

Community College and with the St. Mary Clinic, the annual

program is aimed at about 200 children, 3 to 8, who

attend the Community Boys and Girls Club.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Rotary Nearing End Game in

30-year Fight Against Polio

Starting in 1955, the Salk injectable vaccine

and, later, the Sabin oral vaccine, steadily eliminated

the danger of polio from North America

and, eventually, most of the developed world.

But this paralyzing infection, which once

spread fear among American parents every

summer, remained a serious problem in much

of Africa and Asia. A joint education and immunization

effort, in which Rotary is playing a key

role, has been narrowing polio’s reach. That

has inspired hope that, for only the second

time in human history, an infectious disease

will be eradicated.

Since 1985, Rotary International

has been helping

to lead the campaign

to eliminate this dreaded

crippling disease. After

polio was eradicated in

India in 2014, it remained

endemic in only three nations:

Pakistan, Afghanistan

and Nigeria. Some 56 million children

were immunized in 2014.

A new $34.8 million grant from the Rotary

Foundation will help the World Health Organization

and UNICEF to continue immunizations

in those countries, and to guard against outbreaks

in other at-risk countries, mostly in Africa.

Rotary Foundation polio funds are matched

by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

A U.S. Rotarian helps vaccinate a baby in India during Rotary’s 2012 national

immunization camapaign. Wilmington Rotarian Sandra Kalom and other volunteers

from District 7730 joined in that effort. India is now officially polio-free.


International Scholarships

Broadening Horizons, Building Friendships

By Russ LaBelle

Studying abroad under Rotary sponsorship

has built friendships and better international

understanding for thousands of Americans

since 1947. Several of them were sponsored

by or associated with Wilmington Rotary Club.

Rotary’s Ambassadorial Scholarships

were established to encourage friendly relations

among people of different countries. The

program has sponsored some 30,000 men and

women students, both graduate and undergrads,

to study abroad on grants up to $25,000. The

scholars serve as goodwill ambassadors for their

country, their community

and their Rotary Club.





Nancy Marks was a

Duke University graduate

when she was chosen

in 1954 to study history

for a year at Kings College

of the University

of Aberdeen, Scotland.

“The opportunity to visit

Rotarians and their families in their homes and

then to host many of them in my own has been

an experience that can never be replicated,” she


“During my stay, I made over 45 presentations

to Rotary clubs and other community

groups.” After returning to the U.S., she made

50 more presentations to American Rotary clubs

and Rotary district conferences. Through Rotary

she met her husband, the late “Ham” Marks, who

was a longtime member, and a past president, of

the Wilmington club. In recognition of her volunteer

advocacy for Alzheimer’s Disease patients,

she was made an honorary member in 1991. Retired

as a teacher and counselor in New Hanover

County schools, Marks now lives in Durham.

“I have been fortunate to have returned to

Aberdeen on three occasions.” She continued to

correspond with the Rotary Internationl, district

and local counselors in London, Perth and Aberdeen

who oversaw her scholarship for as long as

they lived, and has welcomed many of her British

Rotary friends and their children to her home.

A decade later, the Wilmington Rotary Club

sponsored Eddie West of Wilmington on his year

of study at the University of London in 1964-65.

“Exposure to and experiences with” his acquaintances

there “helped me understand the uniqueness

of the people of Great Britain” says West,

who devoted his post-college career to education

and school administration. His experience studying

in England also made him a Rotarian.

“I earned a graduate degree in the history

and philosophy of science. The course work

was intense and we worked with well published

scholars who pushed us to use our highest order

of thinking,” he said. “During my stay, I spoke

to over 100 Rotary clubs in England and Scotland.”

After returning to his home state, he spoke

about his experiences to Rotary groups around

the eastern half of North Carolina. “I became a

Rotarian and held membership and office positions

in the Edenton, High Point, Greenville and

Gastonia clubs.”

A highlight of West’s time in Britain was

the death of former Prime Minister Winston

Churchill. “I was able to attend his state funeral.

Thousands lined the streets, four and five deep

starting at 2 in the morning for the procession

to Westminster Abbey. This was a very moving


A more recent Ambassadorial Scholar was

Adrien Lopez Lima, who was student body president

at UNC Wilmington before graduating in

2004. Rotary sponsored her studies at Alberto

Hurtado University in Santiago, Chile in 2004-

06. The experience “inspired me to step outside

my comfort zone and embrace a multicultural

life,” she said, earning a master’s degree in social

ethics and human development while “surrounded

by classmates from all over Latin America.

“Chile was always a country that fascinated

me because of its similarities to my native Alaska—in

terms of economic activities like fishing,

mining and forestry, but also its magnificent

mountains and glaciers.” She had some preparation

for foreign academic work, having studied

in Spain during her UNCW years and doing volunteer

work in Nicaragua and Honduras.

“During my time in Chile,” she recalled, “I

A torn, yellowed clipping

from Raleigh’s ‘News &

Observer’ reports Nancy

Smith Marks’ plans to

study in Scotland on a Rotary


Nancy Marks is now an

honorary Rotarian.

Eddie West as a Rotary

scholar in 1964-65.

Nancy Smith (now Marks) during her studies in Scotland in 1954-55.

18 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Aid for College Students: Loans and Scholarships

Support for education has been a Rotary focus from

the beginning. In the period immediately after World

War II, the Wilmington club supported the founding of

Wilmington College. Originally a locally funded two-year

institution, the college opened its doors in 1947.

The following year Rotarians turned their attention

to prospective students who needed help to pursue higher

education. The club decided to set up a Student Loan Fund,

“for the purpose of lending money to high school graduates

who wish to attend Wilmington College

or other schools.” Several club




loan fund

members contributed seed money

totalling $1,700 to get the fund

started. It was bolstered by proceeds

from the Rotary Round Up, a variety

show the club produced for several

years in the early 1950s.

The first of these shows raised

$1,900 for student loans. J. Mitchell

Jenkins, the club’s president in 1950-51, reported, “The fund

will be of great value to boys and girls in the community

who might otherwise not be able to attend college.”

That statement turned out to be true for many young

men and women over the next two decades.

By 1965, the club’s 50th anniversary, it reported that

50 loans had been made, totalling more than $15,000. Twothirds

of that money had been repaid.

In the fund’s heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, typical

loans were for several hundred dollars each. These examples

show something of the need:

In 1952, a young man appealed to Rotary for help to

attended many Rotary Club meetings, frequently

as a speaker.” That included the Rotary

Club on Easter Island, which is a Chilean


Back in North Carolina, Lopez volunteered

at the District Rotary Youth Leadership

Awards conference and made presentations

at district conferences, and at the Wilmington

club. She is now an honorary member.

In 2012 after returning to Alaska, she joined

the Juneau Rotary Club.

“Today, I work for the Inter-American

Development Bank in Washington, D.C.

This would not have been possible without

the seed that Rotary planted. In September

2014, I married Rafael Lima from Brazil, an

attorney with the same bank. I really have

embraced a multicultural life!”

Laura Creasy, formerly of Wilmington,

studied at Victoria University of Wellington,

New Zealand in 1996-97. “My experience

opened a world unknown to most my age,”

she remembered. “I learned the value of being

a giving person in terms of time, money

and compassion,” while applying herself toward

a Ph.D. in economics and public policy,

for which Victoria University is highly regarded.

“The internet was in its infancy, so

the immersion into a different culture totally

broadened my understanding of the world

and improved the way I approach life.”

Today, Creasy is a career law clerk to

the U.S. magistrate in St. Thomas, US Virgin

Islands. She earned a doctorate in law from

Campbell University following her scholarship.

“I maintain ties with my New Zealand

sponsoring Rotary family and my flatmate

who remains a close personal friend.”

The Ambassadorial Scholarship program

ended in 2013. In its place, the Rotary

Foundation’s Global Grants provide scholarships

to fund graduate-level coursework or

research or its equivalent for a term of one to

four academic years.

Rotarian Russ LaBelle was the district

governor for Rotary District 7730 in 2004-05.

study engineering at N.C. State University. He was 20 years

old and a 1950 graduate of New Hanover High School. His

father had retired from the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad with

a pension that was “barely enough for the family to live

upon,” according to a loan committee report. The student

himself had worked at the Coast Line to pay for two years of

studies at Wilmington College.

His loan for $700 allowed him to pursue his engineering

degree at N.C. State. After just a year, he was able to

repay the loan with interest.

A decade later, a young teacher

in the New Hanover County Schools

asked for help in pursuing a master’s

degree at Duke University, specializing

in care and education of “the

emotionally disturbed child.” A

$500 loan made in 1965 was paid off

in March 1967. The student went on

Adrien Lopez speaks to Wilmington

Rotary Club on a return visit to WIlmington

in 2011. She is a UNCW grad

and studied in Chile with Rotary help.





to have a long career as an administrator of special education

programs in the public schools. After obtaining her master’s

degree, she wrote to the Rotary Club: “I am deeply grateful

to you” for the help.

By the late 1960s, however, the club was rethinking

the Student Loan Fund. New federal programs were lending

money to college students and the repayments of some

Rotary loans were lagging.

Although the club got out of the loan business, it didn’t

stop supporting college students. Each year it donates money

for scholarship aid for students at both the University of

North Carolina at Wilmington—direct descendant of Wilmington

College— and at Cape Fear Community College.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


Amusements & Entertainments, for a Cause or for Fun

The “Rotary Round Up” was a variety show

held in the early 1950s as a fund-raiser for

the Rotary Club’s projects, including the

new student loan fund and the Orthopedic

Clinic. This show went on at New Hanover

High School on January 14 and 15, 1952.

Each Rotarian was expected to sell at least 10 tickets, at $1 each, with a minimum

goal of $1,500 raised. Entertainment was provided by Rotarians, their wives, and

guest entertainers. In fact, the show raised almost twice that amount, which was

The Singing Saw

This long-time Rotarian’s album,

‘The Singing Saw of Dr. George

Koseruba,’ was produced by fellow

Rotarian Heber W. Johnson.

It includes such tunes as ‘Autumn

Leaves’ and ‘Pagan Love Song.’

One Hand Clapping

A long-standing Wilmington

Rotary Club tradition

is ‘Health and Happiness,’

in which a member

of the club offers brief entertainment

at the weekly

lunch meeting.

These segments range

from the sublime to the

silly, including limericks,

wordplay, jokes old and

new, good and bad, inspirational

readings and the

occasional musical performance.

contributed to the club’s causes. A special attraction was Dr. George Koseruba, playing

his musical saw. Koseruba was a member from 1940 until his death in 2007. He

was the club’s president in 1961-62. He sometimes performed for Rotary meetings.

‘Thank you

very much ...’

The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll has been making periodic appearances

at Rotary meetings for many years, as in this performance

from the 1990s. Oddly enough, the club’s biggest Elvis fan, past

President Terry Horton, always seems to miss these events.

20 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

‘Our service to the community continued

with ... the Student Loan Fund and

our contribution of $1,900 from our

Rotary Round Up. We contributed over

$1,000 to ... worthwhile activities ...’

Heber W. Johnson, president, 1951-52

Literary Visitor

Celtic Interlude

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day in 2014,

Rotarian Julie Rehder, second from right,

recruited fellow musicians to play some

traditional Irish tunes. Rotarian Bret

Paterson joined in on fiddle.

The playwright Paul Green, author of the outdoor

drama ‘The Lost Colony,’ spoke at the

dedication of the Greenfield Park Amphitheater

in August 1962. An opening show at that Rotary

Club gift to the city raised all the cash needed to

finish paying for its construction.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


Boys and Girls Homes

A Safe Place: ‘It Made a Difference to That One’

By Cathy Barlow

One of the Wilmington Rotary Club’s most lasting

and visible projects has been its 50-year relationship

with the Boys and Girls Home at Lake Waccamaw.

The Rotary Cottage, paid for by clubs from around North

Carolina, has been a safe, nurturing home for teenage boys

since it opened in 1966.

The Wilmington Rotary club has been committed to

serving young people almost from the start. As early as 1922,

club minutes noted a discussion of a “Mothers Aid Bill,” and

described the club’s advocacy for this state legislation “as

one of the major accomplishments of the Club.” This bill,

which matched state and local money to help the poor, was

designed to keep families together rather than place children

in orphanages.

In 1927 the club formed a “Boys’ Work Committee” to

address the needs of male youth. The



Boys &

Girls Home

next year, it sponsored a “boys’ work

night school.” Youth in the community

remained prominent topics

for service projects throughout the

club’s first decades. It assisted Boy

Scouts, Girl Scouts, and young people

with medical issues. In 1937, the

club formed a committee on juvenile


Time and dollars were spent on the early projects. When

the need arose to join with the other clubs in the state, the

Wilmington Club responded. The Rotarians of North Carolina

built the “Rotary Cottage,” which cost $72,000 to build.

This cottage was dedicated in 1966 and housed 16 boys. It

has been refurbished over the years with money and volunteer

labor from this club and other Rotary clubs.

The Rotary Cottage is one of several on the Lake Waccamaw

campus, each built by different civic clubs. Other

cottages are sponsored by the Civitan, Lions, Jaycees, Kiwanis

and Optimist clubs.

Rotarians who have worked on the club’s Boys and

Girls Home committee say they enjoyed a close relationship

with the Rotary Cottage and its residents. Rotarians have

donated computers and recreational equipment, bought 500

Visitors tour Rotary Cottage during 2015 Rotary Day.

Residents of one of the Boys Home’s cottages doing homework in the mid-1960s.

books, given a 60-inch-screen TV, provided materials for

renovations, and contributed furniture for the cottage. They

have also donated time and expertise for job fairs at the site,

conducted workshops and mentoring for the boys, supplied

clothes and kitchen supplies, given Christmas parties, built

bunks and desks, and installed a new roof. For most of these

projects, individual Rotarians gave both money and their

own time and skills.

In addition to those individual contribution, this club

has given another $16,000 from its budgets in recent years.

The result of these contributions can be seen in the stories of

some of the young men who have passed through the Rotary

Cottage’s doors.

One recent alumnus who agreed to share his story is

named Lawrence. He came from a poor family, and arrived

at the home—and the “Rotary Cottage”—not knowing what

to expect. He said he found people who were supportive and

positive, an experience he had not had before. As part of the

home’s community, he said, he learned that he could change

and control his life’s outcome. Lawrence spoke by phone

from a Navy base as he was about to leave port on a destroyer.

He serves as a machinist’s mate. His goal after finishing

his tour of duty is to come back to the Boys and Girls Home

that meant so much to him, and work to help others.

Another of the home’s alumni did just that, and now is

managing the place where he grew up. Gary Faircloth is the

home’s current president and chief executive officer.

22 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

The scenic, tree-shaded Boys and GIrls Home campus is on the shores of Lake Waccamaw, 37 miles west of Wilmington.

Faircloth’s father deserted him and

his brothers when he was a boy in rural

Columbus County, in the early 1960s.

Their mother had only a third-grade education

and was hard-pressed to provide

for the children.

Young Gary developed a problem

with stealing that brought him to the

home at the age of 15. He had fallen far

behind academically but was encouraged

to participate in baseball and basketball.

He had found a place that allowed him

to grow and mature with guidance from

coaches and other adults. During his time

at the home he stayed out of trouble and

finished high school.

Faircloth was able to go to college

with help from many people. As a student,

he lived with a couple who provided his

housing. Others helped keep him supplied

with clothing and food. This help made it

possible for him to earn a degree.

His way of paying back, Faircloth

said, was to return and work for the Boys

and Girls Home.

This home resides on a 100-acre

campus in Columbus County. It originated

in the 1950s under the leadership

of A.D. Peacock, a Whiteville funeral

director and member of the Whiteville

Rotary Club. Although it started serving

just boys, the organization grew to incorporate

the former “Girls Haven,” which

operated in several locations in western

North Carolina from 1970 to 1990. It was

consolidated with the Boys Home that

year, and the Lake Waccamaw campus

now includes the former Girls Haven pro-

The Boys and Girls Homes’ president, Gary Faircloth,

was a resident of the home in his teens. He

told his story at a Rotary Club meeting in 2013.

An open house at the Rotary Cottage in early 2015.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


... Boys and Girls Homes

gram. In 1998, a program of foster care was started, which has

now served more than 350 children up to age 21.

A 50th anniversary history, published in 2004, is titled “It

Made a Difference to That One,” a reference to an old story

about a man who couldn’t save every creature in peril, but did

what he could to save those he could save.

A creed adopted more than 50 years ago sets the Boys

and Girls Homes apart from other agencies: “After we provide

food, shelter, clothing and love, the best thing we can

do for a child is to give him or her a sound, basic education.”

More than 3,000 young North Carolinians have been helped

by this home. Rotarians have played an integral part in this

organization’s success.

Rotarian Cathy Barlow is a retired educator and a consultant.

Wilmington Rotarians Steve Yates, left, and Jeff

Newman, right, delivering a donated air hockey

table to the Rotary Cottage in 2011. With them is

Mike Horne, one of the cottage’s ‘teaching parents.’

Then . . .

Boys Home Singers, seen here in the 1960s, performed all over North Carolina, and elsewhere. Rotary Cottage residents, below, meet visiting Rotarians in 2015.

. . . and Now

24 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Greenfield Park

Rotary Helped Preserve and Enhance City Showplace

By John Meyer and Lori Harris

Greenfield Park, its azaleas, cypress trees, bike and

foot path and amphitheater are among Wilmington’s

crown jewels, a destination for tourists and locals

alike. Since the 1920s, Rotarians have been crucial to ensuring

that Greenfield Lake would always be a public asset.

Rotary also donated two of the park’s signature facilities.

A venue for entertainments ranging from Shakespeare

to rock concerts to family movie nights, the Greenfield Amphitheater

was the Wilmington Rotary Club’s gift to the city

in the early 1960s. No sooner had that lakeside attraction

opened than Rotarians returned to build a formal garden in

the shape of Rotary’s distinctive gear-wheel emblem.

Fifty years old this year, the “World’s Largest Rotary

Wheel” has been thoroughly refurbished

and has helped revitalize the





neighborhood adjoining the park’s

western edge.

When Rotary began in Wilmington

in 1915, the meandering former

millpond was at the far edge of

town, surrounded by vacant land.

But real estate developers cast their

eyes on the property right after World War I, alarming Rotarians

who wanted Greenfield Lake saved as a public park.

On May 9, 1922, the Wilmington Rotary Club went on

record against a plan to convert part of the Greenfield Lake

property into a baseball park. (Baseball fans did eventually

get Hardee Field, the ballpark on the Legion Stadium sports

complex between Greenfield and Carolina Beach Road.)

Two years later, the Rotary Club asked the city to buy

and develop Greenfield as a public playground, and joined in

a campaign to set up a plan to beautify the property. City voters

approved that idea in 1925 and Greenfield Park was born.

Over the next two decades, the beautification effort led

to construction of a boathouse, the systematic planting of

azaleas and other flowering shrubs, and in the early Depression

years a locally funded economic stimulus project that

built a five-mile scenic drive around the lake.

Starting in the 1930s, Rotarian Houston Moore was

calling attention to the park’s beauty. In 1945, he persuaded

the Rotary Club to adopt Greenfield improvements as that

year’s major projects. The club organized a horse show as a

fund-raiser for park improvements.

An early 20th-Century excursion on Greenfield Lake. In the 1920s, Rotarians argued

against commercial development and in favor of acquiring the site as a city park.

Postcard view of ‘Rose Alley’ and boathouse at Greenfield Park. City of Wilmington

acquired the land in 1925, built Lakeshore Drive and planted azaleas in the 1930s.

Pedal boat rentals, below, now occupy the same area near South Third Street.

The small, calm lake remains

popular for canoes and kayaks.

Only low-powered outboard

motors are permitted.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


Student Brick Masons’ Work

Holds up After Half a Century

The late Johnnie Brisbon, who died in early 2015, was a 1965 graduate

of Williston High School. He and his fellow masonry students laid

the bricks that form the world’s largest Rotary Wheel emblem. The

garden has needed refurbishing several times, but its cog-shaped

brick walls have remained sound since they were new in 1965.

Girl Scouts bundle daffodils from the Rotary Wheel every

spring to distribute to area senior citizen residences.

... Greenfield Park

It was in that immediate post-war period that Moore organized

a coalition of civic clubs to create an annual festival,

inspired by the beauty of Greenfield Park’s azaleas.

The first Azalea Festival was held in 1948. It has been

Wilmington’s biggest annual party ever since, often with Rotarians

playing leading roles in its planning and operation.

Greenfield evolved during the postwar years, with picnic

areas, a petting zoo, carousel and even a miniature railroad

on the park’s Third Street side. The lake’s southwestern

shore was neglected until 1961, when Rotarian Dr. Heber W.

Johnson proposed building a lakeside amphitheater.

The Rotary Club committed $6,000 to build it, but

leveraged that money with donated labor and materials.

The enterprising Dr. Johnson learned that the Lost Colony

Amphitheater in Manteo had recently installed new seating.

He obtained the old benches at no cost and brought them to

Wilmington where Rotarians repaired and repainted them.

Dr. Johnson also orchestrated a three-night variety

show to inaugurate the amphitheater and raise the remaining

money to pay for the work. The Wilmington Rotary Club

Volunteer labor from Rotarians ensures the garden stays in good condition.

sold most of the show tickets. The completed facility was

valued at $35,000 when it opened in 1962, with the playwright

Paul Green, author of The Lost Colony, as speaker.

Heber Johnson immediately turned his attention to the

Rotary Club’s impending 50th anniversary, and proposed

that the club build the Rotary Wheel garden to commemorate

the occasion. At a ground-breaking ceremony, the Rotarians

who joined Dr. Johnson included Roger Moore, who

had been one of the club’s founders 50 years before, in 1915;

and Franklin Floyd, who 50 years later, in 2015, would be

Rotarians breaking ground for the wheel included Len Alpern, Harold

May, Roger Moore (a charter member from 1915), Heber Johnson,

Charles Peters and Franklin Floyd, the club’s senior member in 2015.

26 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Architect’s 1961 rendering of the proposed amphitheater.

Stage structure, lighting, modern seating

and updated concession stand were later additions.

Rotarians gather to form a human Rotary Wheel emblem inside the permanent brick-wall version.

the club’s senior member.

The club recruited C.M. Haithman,

who taught masonry at Williston

High School, to have his students lay

the bricks. Moore, a brick manufacturer,

supplied them at cost. “All we had to do

was buy the bricks and mortar,” Johnson

later recalled, “and the kids from Williston

put it up.”

Originally decorated with shrubs

donated by Rotary clubs from around the

country, the Rotary Wheel garden would

be refurbished and replanted a number

of times over the next half century.

In 1990, to mark its 75th anniversary,

the Wilmington Rotary Club planted

500 rose bushes and built an elevated

gazebo in the garden’s center.

Twenty years later, Wilmington had

six Rotary clubs, which joined with the

city’s Parks and Recreation Department

and the Cape Fear Garden Club to thoroughly

revitalize the garden. Their work

included new landscaping; cleaning;

a sprinkler system; wiring to support

lighting and sound systems in the gazebo,

allowing it to host events such as

weddings and concerts; and fund-raising

campaigns to support an endowment for

the garden’s long-term maintenance.

These investments led to two popular

annual events moving to the Rotary

Wheel. The ribbon-cutting that opens

the Cape Fear Garden Club’s Azalea

Festival Garden Tour now occurs inside

the brick cog-wheel-shaped enclosure.

And the City of Wilmington’s Christmas

tree-lighting ceremony now takes place

at the wheel, with Santa Claus meeting

children from his throne in the gazebo.

A new, third tradition is a fall garden

party at the beginning of the annual

Riverfest. This is a fund-raiser for the

Greenfield Lake Collaborative, which

manages the garden’s endowment.

This article includes research and photos

by Rotarian Lori Harris, executive director

of the Greenfield Lake Collaborative.

Belles at Azalea Festival’s annual garden party.

Santa and helpers in the renovated gazebo.

Autumn garden party

raises funds for Rotary

Wheel’s endowment.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


Diversity of Membership

Wilmington Rotary is no Longer an ‘Old Boys’ Club

By Mimi Cunningham

To paraphrase an old advertising slogan, Rotary in 2015

is not your father’s Rotary club—nor your grandfather’s

or great-grandfather’s. The Wilmington club’s

current diversity of race, sex, age and profession is a far cry

from the stereotypical “old boy’s club” image.

Sweeping changes reshaped Rotary International in the

late 20th Century. The first forcefully banned racial discrimination,

in reaction to a large U.S. club’s explicit refusal to

accept African-American members as late as 1982. The next

broadened the range of occupations in clubs that previously

had rigidly limited applicants by profession.

The final, and undoubtedly most difficult, was Rotary’s

belated decision to admit women to full membership after

years of heated debate inside and outside the movement.


From its earliest days, women were part of Rotary’s story.

In 1911, the Minneapolis Women’s Rotary Club was established.

A year later, the Women’s Rotary Club of Duluth,

Minn. asked the Rotary Convention, meeting in that city, for

support in forming other women’s Rotary clubs. They didn’t

get it. Soon women’s clubs were officially disapproved.

Both official and informal auxiliaries, made up of

Rotarians’ wives, formed in the 1920s: “Rotary Ann” was

the American term; “Inner Wheel” was a British organization.

By any name, even when denied membership, women

played important roles in carrying out Rotary’s mission.

The tone of discussions about allowing women to become

Rotarians says a lot about prevailing attitudes. A 1934

study by the University of Chicago called the admission

of women to Rotary “unthinkable” because “Rotarians are

family men whose wives are home-makers and mothers.”

A common argument, all the way up to 1987, was that

men had joined a men’s club and that any group should have

the right to pick its own members. The male-only side became

increasingly defensive as the women’s rights movement

picked up steam in the 1970’s.

In 1977, the Rotary Club of Duarte, Calif., admitted

three women, defying its standard-issue constitution. The

club refused to remove the women and Rotary International

revoked its charter. The Duarte club and the three women

sued, claiming unlawful discrimination based on gender.

Finally, in 1987, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled

against Rotary, saying it couldn’t revoke a club’s charter for

admitting women. The RI board decreed that women must

be admitted, but only in the United States. It also announced

a vote would be taken in 1989 on the international constitution.

Starting in 1964, Rotary’s Council on Legislation had

considered that change six times, and rejected it six times,

even after RI’s board and president supported admitting

women. The Supreme Court forced the issue for them.

The Council finally deleted the word “male” from RI’s

Breaking the gender barrier

Fran Young

Eloise Thomas

1990: Women enter Rotary

On January 9, 1990, Fran Young and Eloise

Thomas became the Wilmington Rotary

Club’s first female members. The club’s decision

to admit women came shortly after Rotary

International, under pressure from court

rulings, abolished its former males-only membership

rule. Young, seen above in the 1990s,

remained an active Rotarian until her death in

2012. In 2015, women were 20 percent of the

club’s membership. Six of the club’s last 20

presidents have been women.

constitution in 1989. The vote was 328 to 117.

Here in Wilmington, after 74 male-only years, the

Wilmington Rotary Club had to wrestle with this change.

Darryl Bruestle, Wilmington’s chief of police, was club

president when the Supreme Court made its ruling. “Several

old-timers weren’t happy with it, and a couple may have

dropped out over having women come in.”

The first mention of a possible female member came

in September 1987 when the board considered an honorary

membership for Nancy Marks, a former Rotary scholar and

wife of long-time Rotarian Ham Marks. The board took no

action, but finally made her an honorary member in 1991.

During the uncertainty between the Supreme Court ruling

and RI’s 1989 rule change, the club debated the matter.

Rotarian Gleason Allen, a lawyer, reported to the board

in November 1987. He cited a state attorney general’s opinion,

relying on a narrow point of law, that said “the ruling

of the Supreme Court would not be applicable in this state.”

Allen concluded, “Our local board would have authority for

whichever position it chose to take.” A motion to wait for

28 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

RI’s decision failed by 7 to 3.

Royce Angel and Charlie Scruggs moved to amend the

club by-laws “to give fair and equal consideration to all candidates

to membership without regard to gender but otherwise

to observe all other rules of membership.” This passed

unanimously and was made public on December 1, 1987.

Even so, the club’s membership wasn’t ready to admit

women. The board called a special meeting in February 1988

to hear and discuss any issues that were bothering Rotarians.

President Jim Hundley made it clear that the vote to

admit women would not be up for debate. No minutes were

taken at that two-hour meeting, which 25 members attended.

Later that year, the club’s board considered two female

applicants and approved one of them. Objections to the other

included rumors that the

Presidential pioneer

This article’s author,

Mimi Cunningham, at

her induction as club

president in 1994. See

page 4 for our other

women presidents.

applicant was planning to

seek admission to another

all-male institution, the

Cape Fear Club.

One member argued,

“The induction of this lady

would end an honorable,

successful, respected tradition

of almost 75 years

standing. If women are

introduced into the Club,

the character and quality

of the fellowship will

change. It is quite apparent

that there is no groundswell

of demand for ladies’


Another preferred

that the club “remain an

organization of civic minded businessmen. A large number

of our members would resent women members to the extent

it would weaken our fellowship and service activities significantly.”

Two members referenced the Four-Way Test in

their objections, one writing that offering membership to the

applicant “would definitely not build good will and better

friendship and would NOT be beneficial to all concerned.”

The board chose to defer any decisions on female applicants

until Rotary International made its decision in 1989.

Joe Augustine, president in 1988-89, said the board was

pretty much unanimous in wanting to admit women, and

nearly all the members agreed, too. “About a dozen guys

resented the change,” he said, but none quit that he knew of.

The board finally voted on November 28, 1989, accepting

Fran Young and Eloise Thomas as members. They were

inducted on January 9, 1990. Several more women joined

that year: Donna Shiro, Connie Tyndall and Hannah Gage.

I was inducted in November 1990, and became the first

female president in 1994. Since then the club has had five

more female presidents.

Augustine, former executive VP of the Wilmington

Chamber of Commerce, has been in the club since 1979.

He believes women “came in with a different point of view,

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

‘Several old-timers weren’t

happy . . . and may have

dropped out over having

women come in.’

Darryl Bruestle, president 1986-87

fresh outlook, with enthusiasm,” and participated more.

Stacy Ankrum, a banker, became a member in January

2006 at the age of 25. She became the club’s sixth female

president in 2011. As of January 1, 2015, 41 of the club’s

203 members are female, or 20 percent. Ankrum echoed Augustine’s

observation that women are more active members

than men. “Women’s participation in activities is in the 90

percent range. It’s much lower for men, even though women

make up a smaller percentage of the club.”

Ankrum has led efforts to improve the club’s fund raising.

“When I was president-elect, there was no real fund raising

to speak of,” she said. Since 1999, club members have

donated and distributed $910,000 for local and international

charitable projects as of October, 2013, including $365,000

to the international Rotary Foundation.

As of June, 2014, women were about 20 percent of

the world’s more than 1.2 million Rotarians. In the United

States, that ratio is more than 27 percent. Of Rotary’s 532

district governors nearly 18 percent are female. Eighty-three

percent of all Rotary clubs have female members.


As a worldwide organization, since 1922 Rotary International

has required all new clubs to adopt the standard club

constitution, which has no restrictions concerning race.

A constitution and bylaws dated 1932 are the earliest

in The Wilmington Rotary

Club’s archives. Despite

the pervasive and official

racial segregation of the

time, these documents say

only that membership is

open to “adult male persons

of good character and

good business or professional

reputation.” Race

is never mentioned. Nevertheless,

the Wilmington

club remained all-white

until the 1980s.

Father Thomas Hadden at his 1987 induction,

with his sponsor, Dr. Jeremiah Partrick.

The race issue surfaced nationally in 1982 when the

editor of The Birmingham Post-Herald proposed changing

his Rotary club’s explicitly whites-only charter. In a secret

vote, the Birmingham club voted 120-90 to continue the ban.

The editor resigned in protest.

When the news got out, RI acted promptly, declaring

that “racial discrimination has no place in Rotary” and banning

“any club from limiting membership in the club on the

basis of race, color, creed or national origin.” The Birmingham

club, threatened with having its charter revoked, agreed


Youth plus experience

These club leaders, photographed while volunteering at Williston Middle

School, are examples of Wilmington Rotarians’ growing diversity in age and

occupation. Former President Stacy Ankrum, a banker, was 25 when she

joined. Club Board of Directors member Nick Rhodes is an Air Force retiree,

business consultant and former school board member.

Current board member Tyler Wooden, who works for an Internet service

provider, joined the club at 26. James Graham, who served on the club’s

board from 2010 to 2013, is a retired physician now in the funeral business.

by voice vote of 200 to 1 to permit non-white members.

The Wilmington club’s archives don’t show much conversation

about racial diversity until 1987, when arguments

over women were dominating board meetings. That year,

Father Thomas Hadden, pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church,

became the club’s first African-American member.

Five years passed before the next African-American

joined. Linda Pearce, CEO of Elderhaus Adult Day Services,

was inducted in 1992. A graduate of Williston High School,

Pearce had moved back to Wilmington 12 years earlier after

working at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

“I had no desire or inclination to join Rotary,” Pearce

remembered. “Billy Sutton convinced me to do it.” Sutton

was a Wilmington businessman, civic leader and politician,

and a Rotarian from 1953 until 2014. “He told me the club

already had let women in, and it needed to take the next step

and bring in a black woman. I knew him from the political

trail and loved him. He was way ahead of his time in his

thought processes, very liberal.”

Pearce was not exactly welcomed with open arms. “Billy

wasn’t coming to Rotary right then, and at first nobody sat

at the table with me. I knew Russ LaBelle from United Way,

and it seems like he came over and sat with me. Billy told

me he lost some friends because he brought me into Rotary,

but that was OK because it was the right thing to do and the

right time.”

In 2015, the club has nine African-American members.

Two years ago, in 2013, Pearce raised objections to

the club’s holding events at a facility that has never had any

African-Americans members. This club’s black members

chose not to participate in

one of those events, an annual


Pearce called into

question the club’s commitment

to the Four-Way Test

Rotarians recite every week.

“If we are to cite the Four-

Way Test and hold it as gospel,”

she asked, should the

club be doing business with

a place where some of its

members feel unwelcome?

In response, the board

formed an eight-member

Four-Way Test Committee

including Pearce and three

other African-American Rotarians.

The committee recommended,

and the board

adopted, a policy explicitly

applying the Four-Way Test

as a guide to how the club

conducts its business.

The policy applies to

the club’s own operations,

and sets a standard of inclusion

for all the vendors the

club does business with.

Because of such initiatives

as the Four-Way

Test policy and the Legacy

Project at Williston Middle

Father Thomas Hadden, inducted 1987.

Linda Pearce, a Rotarian since 1992.

School, Pearce commented, “Our club had a reputation for

being a good ol’ boys club; now it has a reputation as being

the most progressive Rotary club in town.”

Rev. Wayne Johnson, pastor of St. Stephen African

Methodist Episcopal Church, joined the club in 2012, coming

to Wilmington from Stuttgart, Ark., where he had been

president-elect of the Stuttgart Rotary Club. “I wanted to

continue my Rotary journey” in Wilmington, he said.

Johnson, universally known as “Pastor Wayne,” thinks

the club will one day select an African-American president.

As a relatively new observer of the club, Johnson says

he sees a “wonderful mix of younger, middle-aged, experienced



Paul Harris’s concept of one club member per profession

or business was original in 1905, and set Rotary apart

from other organizations. But it could not stand the test of

time or the threat of declining membership. This club, like

others, frequently found itself turning away prospective

members because of classification rules.

30 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

RI was slow to help clubs deal with this problem, which

involved increasingly complex rules in the 1980s and 1990s.

Finally, in 2001, RI relaxed its old, restrictive rules, so

clubs were longer limited to one member per occupation.

Coleman Burgess III, a Rotarian since 1986, heads the

classification committee—a much easier job after the rules

changed. “It has strengthened our club,” he said, “allowing

us to bring in more members. . . . Being less restrictive has

helped build club membership and bring in younger people.”

Formerly, Rotarians were their company’s senior executives.

“Many times people not in the top position have more

time and ability to provide service and be more involved in

club service and projects,” Burgess observed. The new rules

have brought in more members serving in different roles.

“The president or CEO has an entirely different perspective

than a rank and file worker, whether helping serve or becoming

involved in projects. The new mix is much better.”


This formerly “old men’s” club has changed by bringing

in younger people. When he became a member in 2003,

President-elect John Meyer recalls, then-President Don Britt

liked to joke that the club’s average age was “deceased.”

Britt noted that during his year as president, “I was fortunate

to bring in 41 new members. But I will always remember

taking in a 32-year-old member and an 80-year-old member

on the same day and thinking that wasn’t much help in reducing

the average.”

As of January 1, 2015, the average age of the club was

57 after declining steadily in recent years. Subtracting senior

“rule of 85” members, those on “active” status average 53.

Stacy Ankrum, who was the club’s youngest president

at 30, started a regular after-work gathering for Rotarians. “I

wanted to do more social things. When you’re younger, it’s

a good way to network. That’s why Rotary started. Networking

is a product of being in the club.”

The club currently has 17 members under age 39. That

more youthful membership, Ankrum said, “creates new

ideas, leads to new people to get to know, brings in new industries

and businesses such as in insurance and construction.

Instead of just resting, this age group wants to give

back to the community.” She acknowledged, however, that

many of the veteran “rule of 85” members, having done their

part for many years, are entitled to take a break.

Since she joined in 2006, Ankrum said, she thinks the

membership has become more active, with half of those on

the rolls playing a significant part in the club’s work.

Mimi Cunningham, a Rotarian since 1990, was the first

woman to be the Wilmington club’s president, in 1994-95.

A longer version of this article is available on the Wilmington

Rotary Club’s website at www.WilmingtonRotaryClub.org

Late 20th Century: 1965 to 1990

Civil rights, the Vietnam War

and huge cultural shifts in the

1960s challenged Rotary in its

third quarter century, a period

that saw both local unrest and

economic growth in Wilmington.

By the 1980s, Rotary was grappling

with the need to broaden

its membership, including the

decision to admit women.

Here are some key dates.

1965: Wilmington Rotary

Club celebrates 50th year by

creating Rotary Wheel garden.

1965: Annexation doubles

size of the City of Wilmington.

1965: Federal Voting Rights

bill enacted.

1965: Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

leads to commitment of

U.S. combat troops in Vietnam.

1967: New Hanover Memorial

Hospital opens.

1968: Assassination of Martin

Luther King, Jr., leads to riots

across America, including in


1968: New Hanover County

Schools are desegregated; Williston

High School closes.

1969: Cape Fear Memorial

Bridge opens to traffic.

1969: Neil Armstrong and

“Buzz” Aldrin are first humans

on the moon.

1969: Wilmington College

becomes part of University of

North Carolina system.

1971: Racial unrest, riots and

the “Wilmington 10” conspiracy

case erupt in the aftermath of

school desegregation.

1973: U.S. ends combat role

in Vietnam war.

1974: President Richard Nixon

resigns as result of Watergate


1976: United States celebrates

bicentennial of American


1977: Wilmington begins

public-private partnership to revitalize


1979: Four-lane replacement

for Northeast Cape Fear River

bridge opens.

1979: Independence Mall, region’s

first indoor shopping center,

opens for business.

1979: U.S. Embassy staff

taken hostage in Tehran, Iran.

1984: First segment of I-40

between Wilmington and Raleigh

opens to traffic.

1987: U.S. Supreme Court

orders Rotary to stop excluding

women from membership.

1990: First women inducted

into Wilmington Rotary Club.

1990: Interstate 40 completed

between Wilmington and

Raleigh, sparking growth boom.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


‘Nobody in My Family Ever Had a House.’

Mary Sanders, Habitat for Humanity homeowner

Mary and Sammie Sanders and their children, who grew up in the Third Street house.

By the numbers

1,800 square feet

0.26 acre lot

$15,000 Club


40-plus volunteer


4 months labor

The Sanders house on South Third

Street as it appears today, home to

four generations of the family.

Rotarians at work installing new siding on the Sanders house, December 1994.

‘If it wasn’t for Habitat

and Rotary and the grace

of God, we don’t know

where we’d be now.’

By John Meyer

Housing was a significant community need in

the early 1990s, when the club decided to

sponsor a Habitat for Humanity home construction


After committing to sponsor a house for a lowincome

family, the club held fund-raisers to generate

$15,000 in cash needed for building materials and

services such as wiring and


Club members devoted

Saturday mornings over a

four-month period, starting

in November 1994, to labor

on the house. That work augmented

the “sweat equity” that

the eventual owners, Sammie

and Mary Sanders, put into



Habitat for


their new home, working alongside the Rotarians.

The four-bedroom, two-bath house, which had

been donated by its former owner and moved from

Wrightsville Beach, stands at 1009 S. Third Street

near downtown Wilmington. The Sanders family, with

six children and a seventh on the way, took possession

on March 19, 1995.

Two decades later, the house is fully paid for and

home to four generations of the Sanders family.

Before being accepted in Habitat’s program, they

lived in Vesta Village, a Wilmington Housing Authority

project. Sammie Sanders was “working here, there

and everywhere,” his wife recalled, struggling to support

his family and get ahead.

“If it wasn’t for Habitat and Rotary and the grace

of God,” Mary Sanders recalled, “We don’t know

where we’d be now.”

Now, Sanders has a good job with the Town of

Wrightsville Beach. Most of their children are grown

and parents themselves. Children and grandchildren

have a spacious fenced yard to play in and keep a

trampoline, bicycles, and a dog. The family’s first dog,

“Snoop,” came to live with them their first week in

their new house. He lived to be 14, and is buried in a

corner of the back yard.

“The kids told us, ‘We can say, this is ours,’ ”

Mrs. Sanders said. “We can have the things we want,”

with a home-owners’ sense of security. “The kids can

leave things outside and not have them disappear.”

Though she had to work up her nerve to address

the Rotary Club at a lunch meeting in March 1995,

Mrs. Sanders told the members much the same thing.

Even now, two decades later, she still believes in volunteering

her time and talent, helping her church with

its mission to feed the poor.

32 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Investing Sweat Equity in Housing

In 1993, the Rotary Club’s board of directors

decided that, rather than entertain dozens

of financial requests, they would choose four

designated beneficiaries. First of those chosen

was Habitat for Humanity, along with the Boys

& Girls Homes, Salvation Army, and Hospice.

Sammie Sanders, tools in

hand, with his wife, Mary, pose

with Mimi Cunningham, Rotary

Club’s 1994-95 president.

Forty volunteer workers helped

the Sanders family renovate

donated house from November

1994 through March 1995.

Members of Interact, Rotary’s

youth affiliates from New Hanover

High School and Cape

Fear Academy, at work on roofing

with the late Fran Young, one

of club’s first women members.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self



Litter Pickup

Unafraid to get their

hands dirty, fashionforward

in stylish

orange safety vests,

and uncertain about

when to come in out of

the rain, Rotarians took

on clean-up duty on the

Outer Loop Freeway for

several recent years.

Soaking wet, above:

Bill Hummel and Rob

Zapple. Left: Steve

Yates, Charlie Maimone

and Ellen Solomon.

Rotary Focus

Economic & Community Development

Rotarians invest in people by creating

sustainable, measurable, and long-term

economic improvements in their communities

and livelihoods by:

1. Building the capacity of entrepreneurs,

community leaders, local organizations, and

community networks to support economic

development in impoverished communities

2. Developing opportunities for productive


3. Reducing poverty in underserved communities

4. Supporting studies for career-minded

professionals related to economic and community


About housing projects

Although not explicitly addressed in the

21st-century Rotary Focus statement, housing

was widely considered to be an essential

component of community development

during most of Rotary’s history.

The Millennial Era: 1990 to 2015

Our club’s fourth quarter century

was characterized by rapid

growth in Wilmington, breathtaking

technological change,

the challenges of a globalizing

economy, and recognition of

the importance of diversity in

our communities and in Rotary.

Here are some key dates.

1990: Wilmington Rotary

Club admits women members

for the first time.

1990: Interstate 40 to Raleigh

is completed, ending Wilmington’s

geographical isolation and

spurring a population and building


1991: The first Iraq war sees

vast streams of military personnel

and materiel passing

through Wilmington’s port.

1991: Thalian Hall renovation

brings that showplace, a historic

antebellum theater, up to

modern production standards.

1995: Netscape Navigator,

the first widely popular browser

software, brings the World Wide

Web to a mass audience.

1996: Major annexation extends

Wilmington city limits from

river to Intracoastal Waterway.

2000: The world survives

feared Y2K computer crisis.

2001: “9/11” terrorist attacks

put America on a long-term war


2002: N.C. Aquarium at Fort

Fisher and Cameron Art Museum,

important regional attractions,

open new buildings.

2005: Martin Luther King

Parkway opens after three decades

of planning, revolutionizes

Wilmington’s traffic patterns.

2005: International Rotary

movement’s 100th anniversary.

2006: Facebook opens membership

to general public, beginning

the “social media” age.

2007: PPD opens 12-story,

half-million square-foot headquarters

building in downtown


2007: Apple introduces the

iPhone, launching the era of

smart phones.

2010: Long-awaited Wilmington

Convention Center opens

on downtown riverfront.

34 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Nourish NC Sends Food Home in Poor Children’s Backpacks

Poverty is an enemy to education. Children

who come to school hungry can’t learn effectively,

which is why schools give free lunches and

breakfasts to students from low-income families.

But for some children, their school lunch is

the best meal they will have all day. They may

not have enough food at home to have meals

on weekends or during school breaks. Helping

to bridge that gap for those poorest families is

Nourish N.C., which collects, packages and distributes

food to families with children.

Working through New Hanover County

schools, the non-profit agency supplies food in

backpacks, which teachers discreetly give to eligible

elementary school children as they leave to

go home on Friday afternoons or before breaks.

The Wilmington Rotary Club made a

$10,000 grant to buy food for that backpack project

in 2014. Rotarians have also joined in with

Nourish N.C.’s other volunteers to help pack

boxes of food for the families of middle school

children. The food comes from food banks, donations

from individuals and corporations, and purchases

using money like the Rotary Club grant.

Nourish N.C. is serving more than 500 New

Hanover County children in 2015.

Group Study Exchange Brings Insight Across Cultures

For several decades, Rotary organized

teams of young professionals

to visit, tour and live with Rotarians in

distant countries. Called Group Study

Exchange, this program operated on a

district level. That meant that foreign

teams would



Group Study


visit Wilmington

as part

of a broader

tour into all

parts of southeastern




in the early

1980s, Rotary District 7730 sent out

GSE teams on average about every

other year. Incoming teams from

abroad came to North Carolina just

about as often. A typical GSE team

was led by an experienced Rotarian.

The four team members were not

themselves Rotarians, but were all in

comparable jobs in the same industry

or profession.

Rotarians Mike Beaudoin and John Hinnant join assembly line of volunteer workers to pack food

boxes at Nourish N.C.’s warehouse in 2014. Each box, to get one family through a school break,

includes low-cost but nutritious items like rice, beans, pasta, canned vegetables and peanut butter.

GSE exchanges with our local

District 7730 have involved nations in

Asia—India, Japan, the Philippines,

South Korea, Bangladesh; Europe—

England, Wales, Sweden, France;

Latin America—Mexico, Venezuela,

Uruguay, Argentina; and Australia.

Visits lasted from four to six weeks

and included numerous presentations

at the host district’s Rotary clubs.

In 2013, Group Study Exchange

ended, replaced with a new Vocational

Training Teams program. This will

allow more flexibility in the teams’

composition, allowing them to support

one or more Rotary’s Six Areas

of Focus. (See page 15 for more

about the Areas of Focus.) VTT teams

are usually associated with a Rotary

Foundation Global Grant, can vary in

size and have Rotarians as members.

Visiting English Group Study Exchange

team members get into the spirit of a

pirate-themed boat cruise at 2013 Rotary

District 7730 conference in Wilmington.

1990s team from Japan prepares to board vans at Independence

Mall for tour of southeastern N.C. Argentine

delegation, below, visits WIlmington Rotary Club in 2012.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


New Hanover County high school students in conversations with business and professional

leaders at 2014 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards session in Wilmington.

Rotary Awards Cultivate,

Recognize Teen Leaders

To identify and encourage the next generation of leaders,

Rotary began its Youth Leadership Awards program in

the early 1970s. High school teachers nominate students to

attend local RYLA conferences and meet with community

business and professional leaders, many of them Rotarians.

The Wilmington

Rotary Club, along with

four others in Wilmington,

sponsors an annual

RYLA conference. The

most recent event, in

late 2014, drew 50 students from eight high schools.

They met with discussion leaders from 20 occupations,

chosen to align with the students’ interests. A schedule of

four rotating 40-minute sessions gave each student a chance

to interact face to face with eight of the discussion leaders.

Ten students the discussion leaders considered the most

articulate and having the best leadership skills were selected

to attend the Rotary District 7730 RYLA conference.

Rotaract and Interact:

Rotary’s Student Partners

Rotarians are expected to be established in their professions,

employed or business owners. That doesn’t mean,

though, that younger people who haven’t yet embarked on

their careers have no role to play in the Rotary movement.

Rotaract clubs for college students and recent graduates,

and Interact clubs for high school students, offer the

opportunity for service, networking and fellowship. Members

of these student clubs frequently collaborate on Rotary

projects in their communities, and have the opportunity to

develop mentoring relationships with Rotarians.

Wilmington has three of these organizations. The University

of North Carolina-Wilmington has an active Rotaract

chapter. Two new Interact chapters have been organized this

year, at Ashley High School and Cape Fear Academy.

Student participants and visiting discussion leaders at 2014 RYLA conference.

36 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Club Adopts Williston as

Centennial Legacy Project

By Melissa Hight and Donna Shiro

Four years into its partnership with Williston Middle

School, the Wilmington Rotary Club has met its goals

of a long-term, sustainable Legacy Project that gets its

members engaged and involved.

Here are a few ways Rotarians are supporting the club’s

adopted school:

• Recognizing students who show strong character by

living by the principles of Rotary’s Four-Way Test, in “Student

of the Month” awards

• Providing funds to improve class libraries

• Raising money to support the band and chorus in regional


• Tutoring students weekly

• Supporting physical fitness.

• Improving school facilities

In these ways and others, Rotarians

continue to touch the lives of the students,

teachers and the community.

As the Rotary Club looked forward

to this year’s centennial, members wanted

to focus their efforts on a long-term contribution

to our community. The idea was

to commit to a meaningful task locally, as

Rotary International had committed itself

to the goal of ending polio worldwide.

The Legacy Project takes the club into

its second century with a work that reflects

several of Rotary’s areas of focus: children,

literacy and health.

The idea of a “signature” effort where

both financial and volunteer resources

could be invested first came up in a meeting

of past club presidents in 2008. Two

years later, in August 2010, then President

R.B. Richey appointed a 14-member committee charged

with making the project a reality. It was a high-powered

group, including 10 former or future club presidents.

Knowing that success would depend on matching the

club’s resources with critical community needs, the committee

studied research that the Cape Fear United Way conducted

with help from UNC Wilmington. That work yielded

Rotarians Howard Loving, Linda Pearce and

Stacy Ankrum congratulate a Williston Middle

School Student of the Month. Pearce is an

alumna of the former Williston High School.

Landscaping assistance: Loving and Mimi

Cunningham help improve school grounds.

a list of 17 local organizations as potential partners for the

Legacy Project. The original group was narrowed to just

four: New Hanover County Schools, Smart Start, Cape Fear

HealthNet and the Brigade Boys and Girls Club.

The director of each organization was asked to complete

a questionnaire and join the committee members for

an interview.

Recalling research that indicated a strong correlation between


opportunities during

the middle

school years and

students’ personal





and professional

success throughout

their lives, the

committee decided

to partner with

New Hanover County Schools at Williston

Middle School. Among the county’s

middle schools, Williston was identified

as having both the greatest needs and the

most potential for success. That judgment

was based the school’s large class sizes,

high student-to-teacher ratios, escalating

percentages of students not reading

at grade level and poverty. Three-quarters

of Williston’s students received free or

reduced-price lunches.

To make a lasting difference with

middle-school students, the committee

recognized, providing them with positive reinforcement was

critical. The committee also understood that most of the recognition

offered in schools centers on academic or athletic

achievements, which can leave out large parts of the student


Honorary Rotarian Nancy Marks, who first encountered

Rotary as an international scholarship recipient in her youth,

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Student-of-the-Month honorees in Williston library.


Academics, Arts and Athletics:

Rotary Sponsorship Encourages

Achievement in Student Activities

Williston band plays for Rotary holiday luncheon. An auction of donated desserts

each December raises money for school music ensembles to travel to competitions.

Retail gifts cards are tangible reward

for students ‘caught in the act’ of

behaving responsibly and ethically.

Teachers nominate pupils according

to Rotary’s Four-Way Test standard.

asked a salient question. “Don’t the values of the Four-Way

Test apply to middle school students?” Taking that message

to heart, the committee created the “Student of the Month”


Beginning in the 2011-12 school year, each month

about 15 students were honored for exhibiting good character

by living their lives according to the Rotary Four-Way

Test. These students were not necessarily the school’s best

performers academically or athletically, but were singled out

for other characteristics that would help them be successful

in life.

Family members were invited to come see their child

presented with a special certificate, and hear a nomination

summary submitted by a

teacher or other staff member.

Honorees also received a Four-

Way Test medallion, a T-shirt

imprinted with the Rotary emblem

and the phrase “I Make

a Difference” and $20 in gift

cards from local businesses.

Serena Perkins saw the

positive effects of her child being

selected as a “Student of the


“My daughter was overjoyed

to have been awarded the

‘Student of the Month’ distinction,”

she said. “As a parent,

I was happy to know her efforts to be considerate, honest

and a good citizen didn’t go unnoticed by her teachers. The

tangible prizes were wonderful, but having the opportunity

to be recognized, shake hands with Rotarians while parents,

students and teachers looked on was much more rewarding.”

After four years, “Student of the Month” continues as

an important component of the Legacy Project.

In keeping with the club’s focus on literacy, Williston

teachers have received funds to build their class libraries by

purchasing books during New Hanover County Library’s

Used Book Sale. The club bought books, study materials and

T-shirts to support “Battle of the Books,” a reading comprehension


Each December, the club holds a “Dollars for Desserts”

Battle of the Books team competed in reading comprehension contest. Rotary club

support for Williston student life includes team T-shirts to help student morale.

Art students painted on salvaged roofing slates donated by Rotary. The club solicits

teachers’ requests for art supplies and other needed classroom materials that state

and local education budget cuts have put out of their reach. Rotary is helping to fill

support role that PTA and parents play in more affluent school districts.

‘Tiger Fit’ program, named for Williston’s mascot, encourages vigorous daily physical

activity and healthful eating habits to help fight childhood obesity epidemic.

Pink T-shirts are reward for girls who complete a slow-motion ‘marathon,’ walking

a cumulative 26 miles, or 156 laps around the school track, during their lunch hours.

38 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Beating the Chill

During the winter of 2014-

15, Rotarians donated

new and “gently used”

coats, jackets and

hoodies for Williston

students from lowincome


Teachers identified

students, some of

them homeless,

who were coming to

school without adequate

winter clothing.

In some cases,

lack of a warm coat kept students at home,

missing essential class work on cold days.

fund-raising auction during its holiday lunch program. The

proceeds support Williston’s band and chorus, helping them

pay their way to participate in regional music competitions.

To assist in the battle against childhood obesity, the

club has sponsored Williston’s “Tiger Fit” exercise program.

Rotary has provided speakers to discuss jobs and professions,

donated an auditorium sound system, brought weekly

snacks and “goodies” for the staff. Rotarian volunteers have

improved the school building and grounds by renovating a

storage closet and landscaping the main entrance area.

Exemplifying member involvement and Service Above

Self, several Rotarians have devoted countless hours tutoring

students each week. They serve as positive role models

and friends for students who are at risk failing academically—and

in life.

Daisean James spent two years working with his tutor,

Albert Corbett. He wrote this tribute: “Over the past two

years you have helped me grow as a student and a person.

You are more than just a tutor to me. You are someone I can

always depend on, no matter what.”

Tyron Jones told his tutor, John Meehl, “I know you

will always be there on Monday, no matter what mood I am

in. You are a person I can trust and talk to.”

Participants in the Legacy Project say its benefits go

beyond the students. According to Rotarian Tyler Wooden,

“Jemel and I would agree that our time together has been

mutually rewarding. We meet on Tuesday and often discuss

the latest sporting event before diving in to a set of math

problems. Jemel constantly astonishes me with his willingness

to work and excitement for the one-on-one help. I truly

look forward to our time

together each week.”

Williston teachers

have responded positively.

Lisa Schnitzler

said, “I think the Rotary

involvement has been

a tremendous boost for

our students. How wonderful

to recognize students

for attributes that

may not be measured

with a high grade or athletic

talent. I hope the

program continues for

many years to come.”

Lunchtime workout for ‘Tiger Fit’ participants.

Beth Whittington

addressed the club’s

goal of supporting the teachers. “Throughout the years of

Rotary’s involvement at Williston, they have gone to great

lengths to make sure the staff is supported. From providing

weekly treats in the teacher’s lounge to honoring all the

many requests for supplies, they have made us feel valued

and appreciated.”

The Williston Middle School Legacy Project has focused

the club’s efforts to make a difference in the lives of

students who might otherwise fall through the cracks of life.

Every member has contributed in one way or another.

Some have purchased gift cards. Others have donated items

such as art supplies, books, uniforms and equipment. Many

members faithfully attend the Student of the Month Celebration.

No matter how members are involved, the result is the

same for them and students alike . . . a deep feeling that we

are better citizens of the world.

Donna Shiro and Melissa Hight are past presidents of the

Rotary Club and were the Legacy Project’s first co-chairs.

Rotarians meet students, and their parents, at monthly recognition ceremony.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


In the classroom:

one-on-one tutoring

or career-day advice

Rotarian volunteers provide

weekly tutoring for Williston

students, and visit classrooms

in ‘Career Day’ programs to

talk about what work they do

for a living, why they chose it,

and how they prepared for it.

Retired physician James Graham talks

with a Williston class about careers in

medicine, and academic work required

to prepare for medical school.

Stacy Ankrum, Rotary president in 2011-

12, when Legacy Project began, shares a

moment with Williston students.

Participants in running program for girls

earned Rotary-donated T-shirts for completing

physical achievement goals.

40 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

About Williston

Williston school has played a vital role in

Wilmington for 150 years. It was founded immediately

after the Civil War to provide basic

education for newly freed former slaves.

Eight years later it became a public school.

High-school level vocational training began

when a substantial brick building opened on

the current South 10th Street site in 1915.

That building’s opening was reported in the

very same edition of the ‘Wilmington Dispatch,’

on February 2, 1915, that announced

the founding of the Wilmington Rotary Club.

The two institutions followed separate

paths, however, during the era of racial segregation.

Williston, which moved into new

buildings in 1931, 1938 and 1953, remained

New Hanover County’s high school for black

students until 1968. It was closed as a high

school when the county schools were integrated,

reopening as a junior high school.

Williston High School’s loss, as a cultural

anchor and source of pride for African Americans,

is mourned to this day.

In recent years, Williston Middle School

has been designated a “magnet,” with a specialty

in math, science and technology.

Williston eighth-grader Rondasha Dugar reads an ebook on her schoolissued

iPad. Electronic titles are accessible in library or via internet.

Library Stocked with Ebooks

Williston Middle School’s entire student body can

now read any of more than 200 ebooks simultaneously,

thanks to a $9,000 contribution from the Rotary

Club in 2014. The money was mostly from club funds,

plus a $2,000 grant from Rotary District 7730, which

covers all of southeastern North Carolina.

Williston issues iPads to all its students, who use

the tablets to download books from the school’s online

digital library from any place with internet access.

Until the 2014 gift, Williston had not been able to buy

any new library books for two years because of cuts to

the public school system’s budget.

The new titles include history, current events, the

environment, biology and science, global culture and

diversity. Teachers now can easily assign an entire

class to read the same book.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


Building literacy:

Tutoring Grade School Children and Buying Books

By Joe Walser and John Meehl

The Wilmington Rotary Club started a formal Literacy

Committee at the beginning of the 2012-13 year. The

committee’s mission was to focus efforts to help reading

and literacy in New Hanover County elementary schools

which had poorer populations, defined as schools with at

least 90 percent of the students getting free or reduced-price


Volunteer tutoring in our city’s schools is an important

part of the Literacy Committee’s twin goals: to increase children’s

level of reading ability and to provide reading materials

for all students in our elementary schools.

That first goal is especially important for second-graders.

During that year, children are expected to develop their

reading levels and comprehension sufficiently to pass the national

reading test, which is given in the third grade.

The second goal, of providing

books for all children, will

be accomplished when every

elementary student in the New

Hanover County schools, regardless

of family resources, has

ready access to reading materials.

As of 2015, the Wilmington

Rotary club is working to supply

six of the county’s 25 elementary

schools with books and with

money to buy books.

The first year, the Club supported

two such schools, the next

year four, and this year is supporting

six: Wrightsboro, College

Park, Gregory, Sunset Park,

Mary C. Williams, and Rachel

Freeman elementary schools.

Sunset Park and Williams have

been in the program all three

years. We are focusing on just six

schools to ensure we have sufficient

resources—time and money—to

serve them well.

Rotarians provide help three

ways: members tutor students;

the club gives grants of $800

to each school to buy books for

their libraries or individual teachers’

classroom libraries; and by individual members donating

books or money. The objective of these gifts is for students

actually to own a book of their own. Often these children

have never owned a book that they could keep at home.

In 2014, the first year our club tutored elementary

school students, 19 Rotarians made 48 tutoring visits to four

schools from January through May. In the first three months

of the 2014-15 school year we have recorded 40 visits from

20 members, with three months to go on the school calendar.

The tutoring process, and volunteer tutors, are important

to meeting our literacy goals for two reasons.

First, an adult working oneon-one

with a student in English,

math, science, social studies, music,

art, and all the others, establishes an

important learning relationship. For

example, in tutoring a second-grader

in reading, the tutor asks the child

to read a page. The tutor notes any

words the child missed, has the student

look at those words and repeat

them several times, and then re-read

Rotarian volunteers Gary McNair and Sandra Kalom work one-on-one

tutoring pupils in New Hanover County elementary schools.





and books

the page correctly. The process

locks new vocabulary in the

child’s brain! When the student

has read an entire book, the tutor

says: “Close the book and tell me

what it was about. Who or what

was in it? What did they do?”

After the child answers

some of those questions, the tutor

goes a little deeper: “Great!

Now tell me what the story made

you think about, about today and

tomorrow in your life, in the life

of your family, or your friends.”

These questions, and the resulting

conversation with the tutor,

are vital to reading comprehension.

This is an important variable

in how we all think, make

decisions and act in daily life.

A second way tutoring

meets our literacy goals is by

providing financial help for public

education. State-mandated

budget reductions and restrictions

have resulted in the loss of

teachers and teachers’ aides. That

has resulted in largest classes

and, likely, lesser quality education.

Volunteer tutors help to fill

this growing gap and do so every school day.

The schools and the community very much appreciate

this service. We believe tutoring is a vital way that Rotarians

can follow Rotary’s calling to provide Service Above Self.

Rotarians Joe Walser and John Meehl are retired educators

and are active members of the club’s Literacy Committee.

42 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Tutoring Adults

Giving the Gift of Literacy

By Erin Payne

For adults who struggle with words, each day is full of

challenges. Think of all the daily instances in which

words are the key to something important: reading instructions

at the gas pump, getting cash at the ATM, reading

street signs and construction signs, following doctor’s orders

or prescription directions, checking your bills for accuracy,

reading food packages for nutrition info or preparation instructions,

reading the want ads or filling out a job application,

reading instructions at work. The list is endless.

When words are a problem, people lose the ability to

make choices. They lose their independence and their freedom.

Their opportunities in life are severely limited.

Leveling this playing field by providing literacy skills

to adults in the Cape Fear Region has been a key part of the

Wilmington Rotary Club’s mission for decades.

The Rotary Club provides two forms of support: financial

aid through its consistent participation in the Literacy

Council’s annual Spelling Bee for Literacy fund-raiser, and

with Rotarians who volunteer as tutors for the council’s

adult clients.

One of those clients talked about his relationship with

his tutor: “One-on-one tutoring really helps me because I

can ask questions and I won’t be afraid that other people—

because of my age—might giggle.

That has been a problem. I learned

through Cape Fear Literacy Council

that reading and writing is fun. I

never thought I would enjoy it. I will

be here and I think the rest will follow.”

The Literacy Council has many

students in both the Adult Literacy

Program and the English for Speakers

of Other Languages program



Cape Fear



who own their own businesses and contribute to the region’s

economic vibrancy. These people are at the point in their

careers that they are aging out of manual labor. To be able

to continue earning a living, these students are working to

improve their academic abilities with the intention of making

the transition into managerial or administrative positions

in the industries they already know. One-on-one tutoring allows

them to remain as viable, contributing members of the

community’s workforce.

The problem’s scope

An estimated 14,000-plus adults in New Hanover

County function at a “below basic” literacy level. Another

47,000 adults have only “basic” literacy. This means more

than 61,000 adults in New Hanover County struggle daily to

fill out job applications, use maps, understand information

from a school or doctor’s office, and countless other tasks

that many of us take for granted.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Rotary Focus

Basic education and literacy

Sixty-seven million children worldwide

have no access to education and more than

775 million people over the age of 15 are

illiterate. Our goal is to strengthen communities’

capacity to support basic education

and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education,

and increase adult literacy. Rotarians

work to ensure that all people have

sustainable access to basic education and

literacy by:

1. Involving communities to support programs

that strengthen the capacity of communities

to provide basic education and literacy

to all.

2. Increasing adult literacy in communities.

3. Working to reduce gender disparity in


4. Supporting studies for professionals

related to basic education and literacy.

Spelling Bee Bragging Rights

Rotarians John Meyer, Bret Paterson and John Meehl hold traveling trophy

The Spelling Bee for Literacy is an annual

fund-raiser for the Cape Fear Literacy Council.

Wilmington Rotary Club has competed since

the Bee began in the early 1990s, but didn’t win

until 2014. Other area Rotary Clubs have also

been steady supporters, and frequent champions.

Entry fees go toward the council’s work.


... Tutoring Adults

Yasmin Tomkinson, executive director of the Cape Fear

Literacy Council, said, “Most adults who struggle with reading,

writing, or math have some ability in those areas, but

they often have gaps in their knowledge and lack training

to make sens e independently of the content they encounter.

While they do their best to cope, they don’t feel comfortable

or confident. These adults need help building their literacy

skills if they are to thrive and provide adequately for themselves

and their families.”

The effects of illiteracy go beyond the individual.

Most of our societal problems can be traced back to illiteracy

or low literacy. Here are some research-based statistics:

• Children: the number one factor in a child’s success

in school is whether his or her mother reads. A child

who is not a fluent reader by fourth grade is likely to struggle

with reading into adulthood. Today,

41 percent of fourth-grade boys and

35 percent of fourth-grade girls read

below the basic level. In low-income

urban schools this figure approaches

70 percent.

• Senior citizens: people aged

65 and over score lower on literacy

skill levels than any other age group

from age 16 and up.

• The future: more than a million

children drop out each year, costing

the U.S. over $240 billion in lost

earnings, lost tax revenues and greater

demand for social services

• Gangs and crime: 85 percent

of all juvenile offenders are functionally

or marginally illiterate and 60

percent of people incarcerated in federal

and state prisons are illiterate.

• Health: the strongest predictor of someone’s health

status is not age, income, employment, education or ethnicity:

it is literacy skill level. The American Medical Association

reports that 46 percent of people can’t read the labels on

their prescription bottles.

• Jobs and unemployment: over 70 percent of adults

at the lowest literacy levels have no job work only part-time.

• Welfare: 43 percent of adults with low literacy live

in poverty versus less than 5 percent of stronger readers.

• Education: 20 percent of high school seniors can be

classified as functionally illiterate when they graduate.

How Rotary is contributing

Wilmington Rotary Club’s contribution to combating

illiteracy began three decades ago, with a commitment to establishing

and supporting adult education programs at Cape

Fear Community College and Cape Fear Literacy Council.

Wilmington Rotary Club’s relationship with Cape Fear

Community College began as early as 1983. Working with

members of the college faculty, Rotarians Chet Rudolf and

John Krohn established the Adult Basic Literacy Education

Volunteer tutors working one-on-one with clients are the

heart of the Literacy Council’s work. Many are Rotarians.

‘Redemption is possible.

They are changing lives.

I’m living proof.’

Jamir Jumoke, Literacy Council client

(ABLE) program. This partnership created an adult reading

program that combined computer-assisted learning—cutting-edge

technology for education in that era—and one-onone


The club helped CFCC to recruit staff members, obtain

computer hardware and software and solicit seed funding

from a variety of government grants. Over the next 30 years,

the ABLE program developed into what’s now known as the

Basic Skills Department. Its curriculum includes: adult basic

education, adult high school, work toward the General

Education Development (GED) certificate,

compensatory education, and

English as a second language.

The department’s objectives are

to help adults master literacy skills

so they can obtain jobs, assist in their

children’s education, and work to

complete high school. In 2014, the

college’s Basic Skills Department

provided educational services to more

than 4,000 adult s.

The Cape Fear Literacy Council

began informally in 1970 as a volunteer

organization, originally a mission

project of the Wilmington Baptist Association.

In 1985 the organization

incorporated as a fully independent

nonprofit. The council trains volunteer

tutors to help functionally illiterate

or low-level functioning adults improve their reading,

writing, spelling, and math and English language skills.

In addition to its original adult literacy program for native-born

clients, the council is increasingly helping to teach

literacy in English for immigrants and others who speak other


In both tracks, the council uses one-on-one tutoring,

small classes, the computer learning lab and community

learning experiences. It is also offering long-distance

instruction via Skype. In the 2014 program year, over 550

adults came to the Literacy Council for help. Over 200 volunteer

tutors and instructors provided over 10,000 hours of


Numerous Rotarians have worked as tutors since the

early 1990s. Volunteer tutors give at least three hours of their

time each week, with a commitment of at least six months of

instruction. Members of the Wilmington Rotary Club have

been active in the Literacy Council’s book drives and in its

2014 capital campaign to expand its educational facilities.

Rotarian Erin Payne is on the Literacy Council staff.

44 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Touching the world

Bringing safe water to communities in three countries

By Jack Manock

The Wilmington Rotary Club has always recognized

and supported international programs as part of

our mission to promote peace and understanding

throughout the world.

That interest in helping people in other countries began

as early as 1919, in the aftermath of World War I. The club

raised $8,000 to help “suffering children in Europe.” This

was a remarkable sum at a time when the average American’s

income was less than $4,000 a year.

More recently, for many years the club has hosted

Group Study Exchange teams from around the world. The

club has also nominated students who were selected to study

abroad through Rotary’s Ambassadorial Scholarships.

Now, in the 21st Century, this international involvement

has increased to include international water projects

supported by grants from the Rotary Foundation.

The Rotary Foundation is the financial arm of the worldwide

Rotary movement, which supports projects around the

globe. It states its mission as:

“To enable Rotarians to advance world understanding,

goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the

support of education, and the alleviation

of poverty.”



Clean water


To help carry out that mission,

starting in 2010 the Wilmington Rotary

Club has partnered with Rotary

clubs in Honduras, India, and Guyana

to provide safe drinking water

to rural villages, orphanages, and


The first of these projects was a collaboration with Water

Missions International of Charleston, S.C., and the Rotary

Club in Olanchito, Honduras. In 2010, with a combination

of local resources and funding from the Rotary Foundation,

this partnership installed water purification systems in two

villages in Honduras, serving a total population of more than

7,000 people. The work included installing the water systems

and building a secure enclosure to protect the equipment.

Beyond the infrastucture, this project included an assessment

of the communities’ health conditions. Citizen advisory

boards were formed, with the responsibility of continual

maintenance of the two systems and establishing a fair

price for the water. As in this example, with the requirement

to ensure that the community had sufficient income to maintain

the systems, sustainability is a vital watchword for Rotary

water and sanitation projects.

Following the Honduras project, the Wilmington Rotary

Club received two Rotary Foundation grants in 2011

and 2012 to install solar-powered water purification systems

in 14 schools and orphanages in southern India. These projects

were done in collaboration with the Homes of Hope, a

Wilmington-based organization that supports the orphanages

and schools; the Catholic Salesian Sisters; and the Cochin

Downtown Rotary Club.

The work started in 2011 with water testing, to ensure

the filtration systems were suitable. Installation began that

summer. A delegation of three Wilmington Rotarians, Dale

Smith, Dick McGraw and Jack Manock, traveled to India

to establish relationships with the Cochin club, visit several

of the orphanages and schools and see how these water systems

benefitted not just the orphanage schools, but their en-

Wilmington Rotarians Dale Smith and Jack Manock install the first of 14 water purification

systems for orphanages and schools in southern India in 2011. The later

installations were done by local contractors using local components.

Partners for sustainability: Rotarians from Cochin, India, and the nuns of the Homes

of Hope orphanages are responsible for the water systems’ continued operation and

maintenance. Local Rotary partners are an essential element in international projects.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


Problem ... and solution

Coomacka lies along the Demarara River, which floods the village two or three

times a year. Floodwaters wash through pit latrines, contaminating what had been

the local people’s only water source. The joint Rotary project, funded by Wilmingtonarea

clubs, with help from Rotary District and Rotary Foundation grants, paid for the

drilling of this well, at right, plus solar-powered pumps, storage tanks and a network

of distribution pipes. Coomacka’s residents committed to making an annual cash

contribution to maintain and secure the water system.

Raised storage tanks, below, provide pressure for pipes serving village homes.

tire communities. Our visiting

team spent two days

installing the first system

and training local people

to continue the installation


The following year

two more Rotarians from

our club, Sandra Kalom

and Annamaria Lookman,

went to Cochin to assess

the water systems’ impact,

and to deliver much-needed

personal items for girls

in one of the orphanages.

They also offered business-management


to local women who

ran a small rice-retailing

cooperative. After the Cochin

visit, Kalom stayed

on in India, traveling to

Delhi to participate in a

Rotary project administrering

polio vaccine to

children. This was part of

Rotary’s mission to eradicate

polio throughout the


As a direct consequence of this work, India has been removed

from the short list of nations where polio still exists.

Only three countries remain on that list.

By the second year of our India project, the strategy

had evolved to reduce reliance on costly imported hardware.

During the 2012 phase, components for the water systems

were bought in India and installed by local contractors. This

allowed 10 systems to be installed in the second year, compared

to four in 2011. By the time all 14 water purification

systems were installed and operating, 10,000 children in the

orphanages and schools and another 100,000 people living

nearby had clean drinking water.

Today, the Cochin Downtown Rotary Club, along with

nuns from the Home of Hope schools and orphanages, are

overseeing the systems’ continual operation and maintenance.

In 2013, a new directive from the Rotary Foundation

set more stringent standards for international grant projects.

These put a premium on larger-scale projects, collaboration

among Rotary clubs, and sustainability. As a result, the

Wilmington Rotary Club enlisted several other Wilmingtonarea

clubs in a multi-year program with the Rotary Club in

Georgetown, Guyana. The primary purpose was to build a

water distribution system in the remote village of Coomacka.

The Rotary Club in Georgetown was responsible for assessing

the village’s needs, as well as overseeing the installation

and maintenance of a solar-powered well, storage tanks

and distribution system. This is the most ambitious of the

international projects our club has undertaken.

In 2014 a team of five traveled to Guyana, the only

English-speaking nation in South America. The delegation

included three members of the our club—Mike Beaudoin,

Annamaria Lookman and Mark Alper—along with Mike’s

wife Gail, and Mark Flint, a member of the Wilmington East

Rotary Club. In Coomacka, they helped with the project’s

46 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Rotary Focus

Water and sanitation

More than 2.5 billion people around the

world lack access to clean water and adequate

sanitation. At least 3,000 children die

each day from diseases caused by unsafe

water. Our projects help communities develop

and maintain sustainable water and

sanitation systems. Rotarians work to ensure

that people have sustainable access to

water and sanitation by:

1. Providing equitable access to safe water,

improved sanitation, and hygiene.

2. Strengthening communities’ ability to

develop, fund and maintain sustainable water

and sanitation systems.

3. Supporting programs that enhance

communities’ awareness of the benefits of

safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

4. Supporting studies for professionals

related to water and sanitation.

Sustainability is a key goal for Rotary’s international projects. Foundation grants require

that sponsoring clubs have a local Rotary partner capable of managing on-going

projects. Here, Wilmington Rotarian Dale Smith, center, meets with Rotarians in Cochin,

India in 2011. In Guyana, our club’s local partner is the Georgetown Rotary Club.

initial planning and design, helped oversee construction,

and worked on other initiatives.

These included building bus shelters for school children,

an important amenity in an area subject to torrential

tropical rains; and providing preventive dental treatments,

public-health advice and counseling on entrepreneurship to

local residents.

The project’s ultimate objective is to deliver 26,000

liters—almost 7,000 gallons—of water daily from a new

well. Because Coomacka is far off the electrical grid, and

even getting fuel for a generator is a difficult, costly process,

solar panels power the pump, which sends the water

to a 13,000-liter storage tank. From there, water flows by

gravity to standpipes throughout the village, so each household

is close to a water supply.

The project’s budget is over $48,000. This sum was

raised from contributions from our club and from the Cape

Fear, Wilmington East and Coastal Pender Rotary clubs;

from a grant by the Rotary District that covers southeastern

North Carolina; from the Georgetown, Guyana, club, and

from a major Rotary Foundation grant.

The Georgetown Rotarians have also pledged their expertise

in management and maintenance of water supplies,

to help ensure that the system keeps operating efficiently.

The first water flowed through the village standpipes in

November 2014. As a result of this joint effort, an estimated

1,000 people in about 180 homes now have a safe, reliable

supply of drinking water.

Jack Manock chairs the club’s International Committee.

Modest infrastructure improvements pay big dividends in low-income communities.

This school bus shelter in Coomacka, Guyana, protects the town’s children from torrential

tropical rains on their way to school. Rotarian Mark Alper and local workers

erected shelters with materials paid for by Wilmington’s St. Mary Catholic Church.

Finished bus shelter as it appeared in February 2015 follow-up visit. The town’s two

new shelters have become impromptu social gathering centers, especially for children.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


‘From the light in

their eyes, you would

never guess these girls

have experienced

such pain in their


Rotarian Annamaria Lookman

Some of the girls in the Cochin orphanage have no parents. Others come from families

too poor to care for them. A third group are rescued runaways and street children,

who had escaped from abusive families. The orphanage is run by the Catholic

Salesian Sisters, with financial aid from Wilmington-based Homes of Hope Ministry.

During their 2012 visit, WIlmington Rotarians Sandra Kalom and Annamaria Lookman

brought 350 pounds of personal care items for orphanage girls.

48 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self





Rotarian Aubrey Roberts of Georgetown

is a water-supply professional. He

is Rotary’s local point person to ensure

the system is secured and maintained.

Rotary district governors Elwin Atmodimedjo, from Paramaribo, Suriname, and Vanessa

Ervin, of Jacksonville, North Carolina, tap fresh water from the new village well

in Coomacka, Guyana. Atmodimedjo’s District 7030 covers 14 Caribbean nations and

includes the Georgetown, Guyana, Rotary Club, which is a partner in this project.

‘Thank you, thank you, thank you’

Ervin’s District 7730 includes 49 Rotary clubs across southeastern North Carolina. A

grant from our local district helped pay for the well and distribution system. The two

district governors, and representatives from the Wilmington and Georgetown clubs,

met during a follow-up visit to Guyana in February 2015.

Orphanage girls in Cochin, India, offer a spirited farewell to Rotarians who

installed water purification equipment for their use during a 2011 visit.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


Honoring, and Helping, Those Who Guard Our Safety




During the height of the Iraq

war, the Wilmington Rotary Club

shipped three tons of personal hygiene

and “comfort” items to the

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, which

was stationed in Anbar Province.

The unit’s home base is the New

River Air Station near Jacksonville.

The club connected these

donated items from shoppers at

Walmart, Harris-Teeter and other

area businesses, and raised cash

to cover shipping costs.

Items included toys for the

Marines to give to Iraqi children,

such as Beanie Babies.

The project established a relationship

between the club and

that Marine Corps unit, which

included the club’s hosting members

at lunch meetings both before

and after their combat zone


Purple Heart Banquet

Rotarian John Braddy, an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War, was among those honored.

Serving military personnel and veterans who have received

the Purple Heart medal were honored in August

2014 at a banquet at the Wilmington Convention Center.

The Wilmington Rotary Club gave $1,000 to support the

dinner, to which veterans from all wars were invited. The

annual dinners, sponsored by the Purple Heart Foundation

of North Carolina, are rotated to various cities in the state.

Recognizing Police, Firefighters and Rescue Workers for Service Beyond Call of Duty

Every year the Wilmington Rotary Club honors public safety workers who have rendered

exceptional service. Rotarian Ben David, district attorney for New Hanover and

Pender counties, presents the ‘Service Above Self’ awards. Honorees have solved

difficult criminal cases, including breaking a human-trafficking ring; performed lifesaving

rescues; made dangerous arrests, and done important community outreach

through such programs as Big Buddies. This photo shows the 2012 award winners.

50 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Rotary Focus

Peace & conflict prevention/resolution

Through our partnerships with leading

universities including Duke and the University

of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

Rotary Peace Fellows develop the skills to

strengthen peace efforts, train local leaders

to prevent and mediate conflict, and support

long-term peace building in areas affected

by conflict. Rotarians promote the practice

of peace and conflict prevention and/or resolution


1. Training leaders, including potential

youth leaders, to prevent and mediate conflict.

2. Supporting peace-building in communities

and regions affected by conflict.

3. Supporting studies for career-minded

professionals related to peace and conflict


Rotary Peace Fellowships

To help promote its goal of encouraging the prevention

and resolution of conflicts, Rotary International supports

graduate-level education for professionals in related fields at

one of its six peace centers.

Each year, Rotary selects up to 100 individuals from

around the world to receive fully funded academic fellowships.

These fellowships cover tuition and fees, room and

board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and fieldstudy


One of the Rotary peace centers is in North Carolina,

a joint venture between the University of North Carolina

at Chapel Hill and Duke University. Others are in Japan,

Sweden, Australia and England. At these schools, participants

pursue master’s degrees in fields related to peace and

conflict prevention and resolution. Programs last 15 to 24

months and require a practical internship of two to three

months during the academic break.

The sixth center, in Thailand, offers a three-month program,

leading to a professional development certificate, for

experienced professionals working in peace-related fields.

This program incorporates two to three weeks of field study.

Fellows are selected through a globally competitive application

process, based on the applicant’s ability to have a

significant, positive impact on the world.

WWII Vets’ Honor Flight

In 2010, aging World War II

veterans were given free flights

to Washington, D.C. so they

could visit the National WWII

Memorial on the Mall. The Rotary

Club supplied money and

volunteer escorts to enable the

veterans to see the monument.

Stocking a Pacific Island Library

Tarawa atoll, in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, was the

site of a pivotal World War II battle. Remote and impoverished,

its residents had little information about their own history. To

remedy this, in 2009 the Wilmington Rotary Club worked with

the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Partnership project to deliver 16 cartons

of books, archival materials, a computer and software to

the library at the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

convent on Tarawa. The Navy had to transfer the materials

between ships at sea. A second shipment was made in 2010.

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


101 Reasons Why I Am A Rotarian

Compiled by Vicki Alpern Scott

1. My doctor and insurance agent asked me if I would like to become

a Rotarian. I didn’t know anything about Rotary. I agreed

to having my name put before the club. My being new to Wilmington,

most members didn’t know me, either. Much to my surprise,

I was accepted. That was one of the best things that could

have happened for me. I met the city’s real leaders, which opened

many doors in my life. I become so involved in service through

Rotary it was unbelievable. Thanks to Dr. Heber Johnson and Alex

Urqhart for their foresight. I am still proud to say I am a Rotarian.

FRANK FLOYD, September 27, 1955

President, 1963-64; Badge #1, 2015

2. I joined Rotary because my Dad was a Rotarian and invited me

to attend with him. I was impressed by the caliber of the members

and the great fellowship they enjoyed. I also loved the Four-Way

Test and Service Above Self.

BOB GREER, April 3, 1973

President, 1977-78

3. I joined Rotary for fellowship, fun and a chance to serve. I’m

very proud of Polio Plus. We made a difference!

DON BRITT, May 20, 1975

President, 2003-04

4. I was invited by my senior partner, admired my civic-minded

father and father-in-law, and saw Rotary as a meaningful and reasonable

opportunity to perform community service. The personal

return I got in another way made it particularly special. As an

orthopedic surgeon I spent most of my days working with other

medical professionals. Four days a week my lunch was typically

a homemade sandwich gobbled down between surgeries or seeing

patients. One day, however, was different. At Rotary I set aside

an hour to actually sit down and eat lunch, meet and befriend outstanding,

non-medical people, and learn more about our community.

It not only expanded my horizons of friends and experiences

but it kept me grounded through constant reminders that practicing

medicine was not the only important activity of dedicated people.

For that I will always be grateful.

JAMES D. HUNDLEY, Sr., December 2, 1975

President, 1987-88

5. I am proud and honored to be a member of Rotary and its efforts

to make our world a better and safer place to live. For example:

Polio Plus.

DARRYL BRUESTLE, January 6, 1976

President, 1986-87

6. I joined Rotary here for service opportunities and fellowship.

ALBERT CORBETT, August 9, 1977

President, 1982-83

7. Because my Dad is a Rotarian, and frequently spoke very highly

of our group and the ideals that are our foundation.

BERT WILLIAMS III, August 21, 1979

8. I joined Rotary and am proud to be a Rotarian because the ideals

set forth in the Four-Way Test are, much like the Golden Rule, a set

of principles I think are worthwhile to try and live up to. Trying to

live up to them increases my self-esteem. I like helping others and

Rotary is the perfect vehicle for this.

GARY CHADWICK, June 19, 1984

The best explanations of what Rotary means

come from Rotarians. We asked our 200-some

members to offer their thoughts on why they

became, and remained, members of our club.

We got answers from half of them, 101 all told,

a perfect number since we are about to start

our 101st year. Next to each name is the date

that each member joined this club.

9. I have been a member of three different Rotary clubs since 1962.

One thing remains the same in all clubs: our Four-Way Test. I have

tried to live my life by it and have been blessed in many ways as

a result.

KEN BISHOP, September 3, 1985

other memberships 22 years

10. I am a third generation Rotary club president. My youngest

brother will become the fourth as Statesville Rotary Club’s president

this year. I believe in the good Rotary does in the community

and around the world. I have enjoyed the fun and fellowship of

weekly meetings and the programs that let us know what is going

on around us and inspire us to get involved. I have loved the opportunity

to step out of my serious professional life and attempt to

entertain the club in over 100 “Health and Happiness” routines.

GENE McMURRY, February 4, 1986

President 1997-98

11. I joined Rotary because of its reputation for integrity in business

and one’s personal life. The two benefits I have most enjoyed

are the fellowship and our physical contributions both locally and


MARK STANLEY, May 12, 1987

12. I joined the Wilmington Rotary to continue my earlier membership

in an organization that truly served its host community to

make a better place to live.

PAGE TEER, August 11, 1987

other memberships three years

13. Fellowship with great people I would otherwise never know,

and connections with the rest of the world I would otherwise never


REID MURCHISON, February 2, 1988

President, 1998-99

14. I am a Rotarian due to my Rotary friends, who care about people

in both this community and the world community. My Rotary

friends are working in many ways, both together and separately, to

make a difference.

TOM DODSON, March 29, 1988

President, 2004-05; other memberships seven years

15. As a local business person, I felt that it was my responsibility to

be actively involved in our community. After being in some other

clubs, I determined this was “the premier civic club” when I joined

26 years ago. I still feel that way if not more so now. I soon learned

of the Four-Way Test—means having integrity—and it has provided

one of the foundations on which I have tried to live my life.

BILL ROSE, January 31, 1989

52 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

16. My Rotary story begins with an oval gold compact my mother

received as a favor when she attended a Rotary dance. It had a Rotary

wheel emblem in the center. When I played with it as a child,

she always had positive things to say about what a great organization

Rotary was. I never forgot that. When I married Tom, I got to

know his father Charlie, who was a long-time Rotarian in Monroe.

The family was always doing something with Rotary, taking

students to the mountains for RYLA camp or cooking pancakes at

a fund raiser. His job was selling raffle tickets every week, which is

where I got the idea to start our weekly raffle. When Rotary started

accepting women, I knew I wanted to be part of the Rotary movement.

I mentioned this to Eloise Thomas, and she nominated me.

MIMI CUNNINGHAM, November 6, 1990

President, 1994-95

17. The Rotary luncheon food easily beats the “Taco Tuesday”

specials at the nearest diner to my office.

HANSEN MATTHEWS, December 10, 1991

President, 2014-15

18. Rotary got me out of the hospital and into the community.

BILL McMILLAN, February 25, 1992

other memberships 21 years

19. One reason I am a Rotarian is that someone—my sponsor—

asked. That appeals to me because it means Rotary membership

is by invitation, not by someone thinking, “This would be a nice

club to join.” I wanted to be around successful business people

who were concerned about doing more than attending a meeting

and putting their membership on their resumé or in their obituary. I

wanted to be part of an organization that actively worked to make a

difference in people’s lives both locally and internationally. Being

a Rotarian is a privilege, an honor. A Rotarian has the opportunity

to work with others who are committed to changing and enhancing

the lives of those who either are less fortunate or have not had the

resources to maximize their potential.

STEVE YATES, April 28, 1992

President, 2013-14

20. I became a Rotarian to interact socially and professionally with

men and women who are “planting trees whose shade they may

never enjoy.”

WANDA COPLEY, June 3, 1992

21. I am a Rotatian to have the opportunity to serve with members

of our community, to help the community.

ROBERT HIGH, July 28, 1992

22. When I meet a Rotarian, he or she has my complete trust until

they lose it. I am not saying that every Rotarian follows the Four-

Way Test, but I bet 95 percent do and I am not going to worry

about the other 5 percent. In the world we live in today, that is

becoming a rare quality.

DON ADKINS, October 20, 1992

President, 2002-03; District Governor, 2012-13

23. I am a Rotarian because of Rotary’s history of service internationally

as well as the work done every day to better the conditions

of people around the globe. Rotary connects me to the world.

CONNIE MAJURE-RHETT, August 30, 1994

President, 2007-08

24. Continuing my family’s legacy of Rotary; my dad Len Alpern

was a member of this club for over 41 years and I have been

a proud member for 20 years, furthering the tradition of Service

Above Self.

VICKI ALPERN SCOTT, April 18, 1995

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

For many of our members, the Four-Way

Test of the things we think, say and do is the

essential reason they are Rotarians. We present

these medallions, inscribed with the Four-

Way Test, to winners of the “Student of the

Month” awards at Williston Middle School.

25. Rotary connects me with an action-oriented group of community

leaders who are committed to making Wilmington and New

Hanover County a better place for all citizens to live and work.

CARL BROWN, July 11, 1995

26. Herman Blizzard and Charles Walker are my reasons to be a

Rotarian. They exemplified the four cardinal principles of Rotary

by mentoring a fatherless (deceased) teenage Black boy when it

wasn’t fashionable.

CARL BYRD, December 5, 1995

Honorary Rotarian

27. I joined because I found personal value in our club’s strong

involvement in local projects that directly benefit the community.

HOWARD LOVING, March 5, 1996

28. My reason is simple and can be summed up in two words, but

it’s complex, because I am so very proud of the meaning behind

those two words: “My dad.” He served his country, he served his

church, he served and protected his home county’s underprivileged

people for over 30 years as a county commissioner. He served on

the social services boards and numerous other positions. Best of

all, he served many as a hometown grocery store owner. He never

turned anybody down even when he knew they would never be

able to pay. When my dad passed, I spoke of Rotary’s core values

and compared him to a true Rotarian, for Service Above Self had

always been his life motto. It meant something very deep to him

and I know he imparted that feeling to me. I will never be able

to master it as he did, but he gave me and my siblings a desire to

try. This do justice to his life’s work—but then again, he wouldn’t

mind. It wasn’t about the glory; it was about the service.

JOHN LIVERMAN, June 25, 1996

other membership one year

29. When I moved back to Wilmington in 1997, I immediately expressed

a strong interest in serving my community through Rotary

—the best and most appropriate avenue through which I would

give back to my native home town where I was raised, and to follow

in my parents’ many years of Service Above Self. Today my

pride in Rotary service has multiplied a hundred times.

WILBUR D. JONES, JR., January 6, 1998

30. It is strange how time can obscure our reason to begin doing

something that has since become routine. My father, DeWitt Merritt,

was a very successful Wilmington businessman and a member

of Rotary for 55 years. He viewed his membership in Rotary as

both a privilege and a responsibility. He taught me that being a

success in life includes service to others, and that because Rota-


y’s programs and activities benefit not only our local community

but people the world over, there was no better way to accomplish

that service than by being a Rotarian. That is why I consider my

participation in Rotary not only a means of fulfilling my personal

responsibility to serve others, but a very meaningful way to honor

my Father’s memory as well.

DIANE M. KARR, February 24, 1998

31. Herman Blizzard sponsored me in 1998. This is my sixth club

in over 38 years in Rotary. I am a Paul Harris Fellow and a twotime

club president. I have always said, “Rotary has had a greater

influence on my life than college!” Although I love and appreciate

the amazing good works Rotary does around the world and in every

community, the friendships I have made mean the most to me.

JOE OWEN, June 16, 1998

other memberships 22 years

32. I was previously a member of two other Rotary clubs, in West

Virginia and Kentucky. I enjoy the association with very talented

people who utilize their talents in significant efforts globally. We

do much more together than we could ever do on our own. Our

club has experienced significant momentum these last seven or

eight years. The scope of our outreach is substantial. We can do

more. I sense that is coming.

GEORGE GATES, February 16, 1999

other memberships 15 years

33. I joined Rotary for the same reason I got married. To enter

into a committed relationship with someone (or “an organization”)

whose values, goals and philosophy I share.

DON WOOD, September 25, 2001

other memberships five years

34. There is no better place to spend my lunch hour each Tuesday

than at the Wilmington Rotary Club, with some of the finest people

in Wilmington.

SHARON HUFFMAN, March 5, 2002

35. I was in sales in Cincinnati, Ohio and thought Rotary would

be a good place to meet future clients. I was treated as a friend

and fellow Rotarian. I realized there was a lot more to Rotary than

just having lunch and hearing a speaker. I formed friendships I

still have today. I saw what Rotary did for the community and the

world. When I joined this club, being a stranger in town, I was able

to meet and become friends with a number of folks. I was able to

introduce a few things we did in Cincinnati that I thought would

be good for our club: Community Recognition Day and Vocational

Fellowship Day.

BERNIE MALMAN, May 21, 2002

other membership nine years

36. I enjoy making a difference in our community with the incredible

network of friends I’ve made through Rotary.

DONNA SHIRO, September 17, 2002

President, 2006-07; other membership three years.

37. Rotary allows me to be connected to something much bigger,

one tiny piece of a global effort to improve the plight of those who

lack what I take for granted. It helps me keep perspective. And, oh

yes, the weekly fellowship with my fellow Rotarians brings me

great joy!

SUSAN HARRELL, April 1, 2003

38. Rotary is such a strong organization worldwide, taking on challenging

tasks such as eradicating polio from the planet. I wanted to

be part of a dynamic Rotary club. I specifically chose the Wilmington

Rotary Club because of its outstanding membership and

commitment to literacy, providing clean water, and the welfare of


JULIE WILSEY, June 10, 2003

39. I am a Rotarian because I like being continually reminded that

the Four-Way Test is a great guide for living.

MELISSA HIGHT, July 1, 2003

President, 2008-09

40. Both of my parents set a life-long example of volunteering to

help others, and I’ve wanted to emulate them. After many years as

a journalist, during which I had to keep at arm’s length from all local

organizations, I felt the need to get more deeply involved in my

adopted home town. An invitation to join the Rotary Club made

me a part of a group that not only believes in serving our community,

but is constantly working to improve itself, too.

JOHN MEYER, July 1, 2003

President-elect, 2015-16

41. We are the only world peace group that works. Government

groups are in it for what individuals can get out of it. We are part of

Rotary for Service Above Self. We are blind to race, creed. politics

and religion.

ED WARD, July 8, 2003

other memberships four years

42. I love the Four-Way Test. It’s a lot easier to remember than the

Ten Commandments and pretty much covers the same stuff.

NANCY BULLOCK, August 26, 2003

43. I was a member of Key Club in high school, and Circle K [Kiwanis

Club affiliates] in college. When I started my medical practice

in Asheville, my partner was a Rotarian and wanted me to join

his club—which was chartered the same day as the Wilmington

club in 1915. Unfortunately, we couldn’t both leave the hospital

together and leave work unattended. So I waited nearly 10 years,

until he retired, to join. He remained a Rotarian for 54 years until

his death in 2013 at the age of 96. I would hope to do as well.

RAYMOND JAY SQUIRES, September 16, 2003

other memberships 14 years

44. I joined Rotary for an opportunity to meet many of our community’s

leaders. It was important for me to be a part of all the good

things Rotary was doing in Wilmington and around the world. The

Rotary Club does a phenomenal job in helping do things of a great

necessity. Proud to be a part of Rotary.

MARK ALPER, January 6, 2004

previous membership 10 years

45. I joined to get to know community-minded people who gather

every Tuesday.

LAURA PADGETT, March 2, 2004

46. In 1976 I was drafted into the West Point Highland Falls, N.Y.

Rotary Club (Provisional). I was number 16 and we needed 20

to be chartered. When I realized the value of Rotary to the local

community and to the world, I was hooked for life. I have been a

member of six Rotary clubs.

JOE ROGERS, August 31, 2004

other memberships 20 years

47. One of many reasons that has always been meaningful to me is

our programs. We are exposed to very educational information at

Rotary every week. Where else can you hear from such an eclectic

list of area leaders? I have learned so much from my Rotary experience

over the years.

BILLY F. KING, November 16, 2004

other and previous memberships six years

54 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

‘Service Above Self’

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

48. We love that, as a family of Rotarians, we are surrounded by

the “spark of altruism” from fellow Rotarians. It ignites our love

of serving our community and the joy that comes from positively

changing our little part of the world.

JOE PAYNE, January 18, 2005

& ERIN DIENER PAYNE, July 10, 2007

[Erin and Joe met through Rotary and were married in 2012.]

49. I am a Rotarian to help others, along with interested, likeminded


JOHN MEEHL, February 22, 2005

50. Rotary is great! Good fellowship; real opportunities for service;

excellent programs; amazing people. Time invested is well


HOWARD McCAIN, March 15, 2005

51. Where else can someone learn a new lesson about their community

every week? Thanks to Rotary’s enlightening programs I

have become more informed and engaged in all aspects of community

life. When I discovered my grandfather had been a charter

member, I felt a strong kinship because we both used the Four-

Way Test to guide our lives.

JULIE REHDER, March 22, 2005

52. An outstanding Rotarian asked me to join an organization that

I knew was committed to service, practiced service, and served as

a strong force in our community. I remain a Rotarian because this

Rotary Club believes in the Four-Way Test. I also found a home

that enables me to network and serve.

CATHY BARLOW, August 9, 2005

53. I am a Rotarian because I want to be a leader who is engaged

and participating in making a difference in my community and in

this amazing world. Being a Rotarian is a privilege and an honor.

LORI HARRIS, November 8, 2005

54. The three reasons I am a Rotarian:

1.) To contribute to the local community and those in need.

2.) To network with like-minded friends and colleagues who

uphold the same values.

3.) To develop friendships and community partnerships that will

last for years to come.

STACY J. ANKRUM, January 10, 2006

President, 2011-12

55. Whether traveling or moving from one location to another, being

a Rotarian means you can immediately make friends and become

active with people who share your values, and who can provide

opportunities to support your community. That’s exactly what

happened to me when I moved to Wilmington. It’s something I’m

sure many newcomers who have joined our club have experienced.

R.B. RICHEY, February 14, 2006

President, 2010-11; other membership three years

56. I first joined Rotary for two reasons: the Four-Way Test, and a

commitment to work internationally. Now I have a third and more

important reason. I have been fighting cancer off and on for four

years and I have received too many cards and emails from Rotarians

to count expressing support, thoughts, and prayers.

DALE SMITH, May 16, 2006

57. I had been a 30-year Rotarian when I moved to Wilmington,

where I knew no one. I joined the local Rotary Club and met dozens

of people with compatible backgrounds, interests, and values.

Where else could you go and immediately feel welcome and

a part of a new community?

HARLEY M. SACKS, August 1, 2006

other memberships 29 years

58. I have always told my children that my responsibility was to be

a better person in the world than my parents. Their responsibility is

to be better people than my wife and me. Every generation needs

to pass down this mission to work towards a greater society. I can

think of no better way of helping this belief than Rotary’s work in

our community and the world.

BOB GRUBER, October 31, 2006

other memberships two years

59. I like to go out for lunch on Tuesdays. It’s fun to rub elbows

with the movers and shakers of Wilmington. Two hundred nuts

meeting on Nutt St. struck me as something I should attend, at

least occasionally. And Wilbur Jones talked me into it! Seriously,

I really buy into the Rotary motto of Service Above Self and the

mission of helping people in your neighborhood and around the

world. Makes me feel good.

DICK McGRAW, March 27, 2007

60. I joined as a transfer from the Clayton, NC club, where I’d

been a member for 10 years. Having served and been president in

a very active club, I saw the difference that Rotary was making in

the community and the world in so many ways. It may take money

to make the world go around, but it takes people to make a difference

in it. Rotarians represent hope and positive energy for so

many, and I am proud to be a part of that.

CHRIS RILEY, August 21, 2007

other membership 11 years

61. Being part of something bigger than the individual has always

been important to me. In Rotary, I have a friend, a family, a community

and a vehicle to accomplish more than I could ever achieve

as an individual. Rotary is a beacon that guides my daily journey.

It helps inspire me to exceed my own boundaries and think more

expansively about how I can positively impact others through service.

SEAN FRELKE, September 25, 2007

62. I am a second-generation Rotarian, starting in West Virginia

in 1961. I have served as a club president and chairman of a

Rotary District Youth Exchange. My family has hosted three different

Group Study Exchange groups from Africa, Australia and

Belgium. After retiring and moving to Wilmington, I visited each

Rotary club in the Wilmington area before requesting a transfer to

the Wilmington Rotary Club from my Beckley Rotary Club membership.

Connie Majure-Rhett was my sponsor. I have enjoyed the

programs, fellowship and witnessing our club’s local, district and

international involvement. As it has been said many times, “There

is a difference between being a member of a Rotary club and being

a “Rotarian.” Service Above Self and the Four-Way Test are the

guidelines each member should strive to follow. Fortunately, our

Rotary Club, our Rotary District and Rotary International has an

abundance of “Rotarians.”

JOHN LILLY, December 18, 2007

other memberships 52 years

63. In a world where so many need so much help to survive each

and every day, as a member of Rotary I can fellowship with others

who recognize we must act on their behalf; “will it build good will

and better friendships.”

RICK LAWSON, June 17, 2008

President, 2012-13; other memberships 29 years


64. The friendships. I’ve belonged to four Rotary clubs in four

different cities and I have made and kept life-long friends in every


GARY McNAIR, June 24, 2008

other memberships 10 years

65. I am a Rotarian because of the tremendous positive impact

Rotary has on our communities—locally, nationally and internationally.

JOHN LYON, June 24, 2008

66. My mother was quarantined as a child because her sister was

diagnosed with polio. Polio is part of my family’s legacy and Rotary’s

legacy is eradicating polio. To know that the cost of a weekly

lunch can contribute to the end of so much suffering is inspiring

and a large part of why I am a Rotarian.

JOHN HINNANT, July 1, 2008

67. I joined Rotary because my sponsor, David Jones, asked me to.

I had no idea what Rotary was about but I can truly say I wish I

had joined 30 years ago. It is an honor to serve alongside so many

outstanding Rotarians.

JANET MONTEROSE, September 16, 2008

68. When Ben David, our gifted district attorney, told me he wanted

to nominate me to be a Rotarian, I had to consider the alternatives.

And Ben never loses a case! Thanks, Ben.

BILL GRAHAM, October 28, 2008

69. I’m honored by the opportunity to become friends with Wilmington

Rotary’s broad and diverse group of successful community

leaders every week.

ROBBY COLLINS, February 17, 2009

70. The reason I am a Rotarian is best captured in Service Above

Self. One of Gandhi’s famous sayings was: “The best way to find

yourself is to lose yourself in service to others.” It is an honor to

be part of an organization that daily lives this motto and to see the

impact it has had on humanity.

ELIOS KLEMO, April 14, 2009

other memberships two years

71. No other organization that I know serves their own community

and the world community at the same time. Whether it’s backpacks

for Williston or water for Guyana or the eradication of polio, it’s

a blessing to be part of such a meaningful organization for good.

ERNIE W. OLDS, December 1, 2009

other memberships 15 years

72. I do recall, when I joined the Downtown Birmingham, Alabama

Club when I was in my early ‘40s, thinking that this will be

a wonderful opportunity to interact with multiple generations of

individuals who were older, wiser and more knowledgeable than

myself. I did learn a lot from them over my years as a member and

now I am one of them.

JIM SUMMERLIN, June 22, 2010

other memberships 15 years

73. I saw Rotary as an organized way to give back to my community

and contribute time and money to worthwhile causes. I also

saw it as a way to enjoy the company of other business professionals

who had the same goals.

LARRY ANDERSON, September 28, 2010

other memberships 10 years

74. The very name “Rotarian” opens so many doors for service

and opportunities for giving. My husband was a proud Rotarian

for 30 years. Before he passed away he told me, “Don’t ever give

up Rotary.” I think he knew Rotary would never let go of me. I

am inspired at every level to support my club, the District and the

Rotary Foundation. I honor the legacy of Thurman Watts.

PAT WATTS, November 23, 2010

75. I am a Rotarian to be a part of an organization that makes a real

impact on issues around the globe.

DON SKINNER, December 7, 2010

other membership five years

76. Aristotle said, “Educating the mind without educating the heart

is no education at all.” Rotary fills this gap in my heart. Joining

Wilmington Rotary has accelerated my making new friends, learning

about my new community and offered me opportunities to give

back to my new home. I believe all people want to do good and

make a difference in the world. Rotary helps me efficiently and

effectively invest my time and money into projects that have been

identified and cleared as being valuable and worthy of my efforts.

MIKE BEAUDOIN, January 18, 2011

President-nominee, 2016-17; other memberships 29 years

77. I became a Rotarian because someone I respect very much

asked me to join her. Service Above Self clinched the deal.

CLEVE CALLISON, February 1, 2011

78. Through my life, I’ve watched my Dad help countless folks

through Rotary. I want to carry on the tradition of helping others.

TYLER WOODEN, February 15, 2011

79. I love being a Rotarian because where else can one drag to the

curb broken limbs and roof shingles in tropical humid weather following

a tornado? Or ring a cheerful bell for the Salvation Army

each Christmas? Or work with a youngster to improve her reading

comprehension? Or restock an emergency food shelter all day on a

concrete floor, doors open to subfreezing weather? Or be one small

cog in the enormous global Rotary wheel that was a major force in

eradicating polio in India? Tell me, where else?

SANDRA KALOM, February 22, 2011

80. It’s a great way to connect with all types of folks in the community

who are serving in different ways. And I couldn’t say no to

Wilbur Jones when he asked me to join!

RHONDA AMOROSO, June 14, 2011

81. To continue my family’s long Rotary tradition; to help others.

CHRIS HOENIG, September 13, 2011

82. I was inspired to join the club by Wilmington’s first female

Rotarian, trailblazer Frances C. Young.

MARIE HOOKS, October 11, 2011

83. Because it’s important to me to be involved with something

larger than myself; because I’m committed to doing my part to repair

the world; and because my club has the most awesome people

in town!

JANE BIRNBACH, December 6, 2011

84. The answer is quite simple. It’s because many of the people I

look up to and admire are Rotarians. These are the people I want to

model my life after. By associating and serving with them, hopefully

I will become more like them. It’s both gratifying and humbling

that someone saw in me the qualities of what Rotary is all

about and invited me to become a member.

ROBERT LAPP, June 12, 2012

other memberships six years

85. Rotary provides a multitude of ways to fellowship while serving.

A pretty neat combination!


previous membership

56 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

86. Other than its familiar name, I knew very little about Rotary,

its mission, goals, activities or purpose, until my husband joined.

[Ron LaReau, president 2000-2001.] I quickly became in awe of

the club’s commitment to these. With the Four-Way Test, the eradication

of polio, clean water projects, local programs like Williston

School, the Rotary Wheel, tutoring, and, of course Service Above

Self, I soon recognized the organization’s value and importance.

I learned even more at the International Convention in Argentina

about the selfless giving of human and financial contributions by

thousands of members to benefit those in need. I wanted to be part

of such a professional organization doing so much good for others.

ANN LaREAU, August 28, 2012

87. As a native of this community I wanted to find a way to give

back in return for all it has given me. Rotary gives me numerous

opportunities to improve the world both locally and globally.

NEAL ANDREW, September 11, 2012

88. The reason is rather simple for me. I am a Rotarian because

I believe in helping others and doing whatever I can to be of assistance.

The words of the song “If I Can Help Somebody” are my

credo. In helping others, then my living shall not be in vain.

REV. WAYNE JOHNSON, November 27, 2012

other memberships two years

89. Rotary allows me to experience Service Above Self and make a

difference in others’ lives both locally and internationally.

GABE RICH, January 8, 2013

other memberships 27 years

90. The Service Above Self motto is the driver for my love of Rotary.

My dad’s lifelong service to organizations, including as a Rotary

club president, instilled in me the desire to serve, as did the

motto “Pro Humanitate” of my alma mater, Wake Forest University,

and my native state North Carolina’s motto “Esse Quam Videri”

[To be rather than to seem]. Using our talents and resources to

benefit our fellow local, state, national, and global citizens is the

foundation of a life well-lived. Rotary serves as an unparalleled

vehicle to improve people’s lives through service.

RANDALL JOHNSON, March 12, 2013

91. I’m a Rotarian because I wanted to join with like-minded citizens

to impact our local community and optimize our global reach.

RHONDA BELLAMY, April 16, 2013

92. Community fellowship, sharing community, charitable activities.


previous membership 10 years

93. I wanted to join Rotary when I moved back to Wilmington

after 50 years in other places because of the opportunity to serve

the community. Also, I was interested in meeting people. This club

includes a great cross-section of movers and shakers. I knew we’d

have excellent programs and that I’d learn more about the community.

I have met some terrific people and made some good friends.

ELLEN SOLOMON, July 16, 2013

other memberships six years

94. I became a Rotarian so I can begin to serve my new “home

town,” now that my career has gotten to the point that I can make

such a commitment. I am enjoying serving in this community.

SANDY BATES, August 20, 2013

95. I am new to Wilmington and Rotary is the best way I’ve found

to plug into the community to feel like a local.

CHRIS FRANCE, October 15, 2013

other membership one year

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

96. I am a Rotarian to connect with other business professionals

who want to serve and create a better local, national, and international

community for everyone’s betterment.

JOHN BEAN, February 4, 2014

97. Initially, it was a long time ago, and I can’t remember why I

joined Rotary. It may(?) have been that Rotary joined me! Why I

joined the Wilmington Rotary Club may be more of the same. I

was a “visiting Rotarian,” and I was counseled to keep that status

and attend the meetings until I was invited to join the local club!

I’ve always been impressed with the high caliber of Rotary’s members:

real leaders in their communities. Part of the reason I joined

was to be close to these leading persons, and hope some of what

they were would rub off on me! I was persuaded to join this club

chiefly by my daughter, who wanted me to have some kind of local


BOB HUFFMAN, February 11, 2014

other membership 20 years

98. I don’t have to think about lunch on Tuesdays.

KARIN MacKINNON, February 18, 2014

99. I joined Rotary to give back. Rotary is the perfect place to

make a difference both locally and globally.

MICHAEL BROWN, April 8, 2014

previous membership six years

100. I was inspired to become a Rotarian by my father, David

Jones, and by Janet Monterose.

PETE JONES, June 17, 2014

101. When I joined Rotary, I made the commitment to live and

work in the same community so I could give back and make a

difference. I believe if we can all become passionate about our values,

we will enthuse others and they will become involved. That

will lead us all to become totally committed to those values. This is

true in our relationships with God, our families, friends and country.

Rotary values epitomize this philosophy.


What it takes to be a Rotarian

Joining a Rotary club requires an invitation

from a member, who will become the new

member’s sponsor. The first step is usually two

or three visits to Rotary meetings as the sponsor’s

guest. Applicants are expected to show

some record of service to their community.

The application process includes endorsements

by three other members and assignment

to an occupational classification.

Rotarians are expected to:

Pay dues. These cover membership in Rotary

International, plus local charges for meals

and a share of meeting-place expenses.

Attend regularly. Members must attend at

least half of the club’s scheduled meetings, or

earn make-up credit by visiting other clubs or

participating in club projects or committees.

While not requirements for membership, we

also hope all our members will become active

in the club’s projects or internal operations,

and will contribute to the Rotary Foundation.



Giving credit for a project of this scale necessarily

requires leaving out many names, for which I apologize.

No attempt to describe this club’s legacy would make any

sense without paying tribute to the thousands of Rotarians

who served the club and their community in so many ways

over the past 100 years.

One who does require prominent

mention is the late Herman

Blizzard, “Mr. Rotarian” in Wilmington

from 1956 until his death in

2005. He was this club’s president in

1975-76, a Paul Harris Fellow, and

district governor in 1982-83. But

his greatest legacy may have been

his diligent service in saving and archiving

the club’s records, as well as

thousands of photographs, newspaper

clippings and other unique and

irreplaceable artifacts.

In 1985, Blizzard bought a

building at 108 N. Front St. and

turned its basement into an office

and archive for the club. In 2002,

Herman Blizzard, the club’s

archivist and the region’s

‘Mr. Rotarian,’ circa 1995.

that archive became part of the Special Collections Library

at UNC Wilmington’s Randall Library. The many

Rotarians who researched and wrote articles for this history

relied heavily on those archives, and on unfailingly

cheerful help from the Special Collections staff, especially

Jerry Parnell and Rebecca Baugnon.

Another prominent thank-you goes to Sue Cause, a

Rotarian since 1991 and now an honorary member of this

club. She researched, wrote and edited our 80th-anniversary

history in 1995. Much otherwise unattributed information

in this publication relies on Sue’s thorough and

interesting work from 20 years ago.

More recently, essential research and writing was

done, over a year and a half, by Rotarians Cathy Barlow,

Cleve Callison, Mimi Cunningham, Lori Harris, Melissa

Hight, Wilbur Jones, Sandra Kalom, Russ LaBelle,

John Meehl, Erin Payne, R.B. Richey, Donna Shiro and

Joe Walser. Julie Rehder did invaluable work in tracking

down photographs and biographies of the club’s founders.

Robby Collins contributed hundreds of photographs from

more recent years. Other important photographs have been

supplied by Mike Beaudoin, Lori Harris, Melissa Hight,

Bill Hummel, Sandra Kalom, Hansen Matthews, Dick

McGraw, and Donna Shiro. A few I took myself. Mimi

Cunningham was a most thorough, diligent copy editor.

This publication, our March 28 Centennial banquet,

and indeed the essential financial support for our programs

as the club starts its second century, would not have been

possible without the fund-raising effort headed by Stacy

Ankrum and John Hatcher. That campaign also relied on

help from Donna Shiro and many other dedicated volunteers.

John Hinnant was liaison with our banquet speaker.

The advertisements on the following pages recognize

the sponsors whose generosity will support the club’s

work in 2015 and beyond. Vicki Alpern Scott kept track

of the advertising, and compiled the “101 Reasons I Am

a Rotarian.” For those, we have 101 Rotarians to thank.

This book was printed by Mid-Atlantic Printers Limited,

direct descendant of the former Wilmington Printing

Co., which was owned by the late Rotarian Robert Little.

R.B. Richey, as chairman of our Centennial History

Committee, Russ LaBelle as publisher of this book, and

club President Hansen Matthews all supplied that delicate

combination of support and pressure needed to keep the

editor on task and ensure that everything got done on time.

John H. Meyer, editor and president-elect, 2015-16

‘. . . BENEFICIAL TO ALL CONCERNED . . .’ ~ from the Four-Way Test

The following pages identify sponsors who are supporting the WIlmington Rotary Club’s service projects for the coming year.

Rotary needs your help!

Make your tax-deductible

contribution payable to:

The Rotary Club of

Downtown Wilmington


2528 Independence Blvd.

Wilmington, NC 28412

Our local club’s foundation is a 501(c)3

non-profit organization. Your donation

is tax deductible as allowed by law.


This space donated by Sandra Bates / The Innovation Partners

58 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

The Wilmington

Rotary Club

Centennial Sponsors

Shannon Ackermann Sandlin / Edward Jones Investment

Don & Maryann Adkins

Mark Alper

Larry & Barbara Anderson

Neal & Beth Andrew

Michael & Stacy Ankrum

Joe & Carolyn Augustine

BB&T / Sean Frelke/Charles Mintz

Cathy Barlow / CCB Consulting

Mike & Gayle Beaudoin

Jane Birnbach

Ken & Dot Bishop

John & Peg Braddy

Michael & Tracy Brown

Gary & Sharon Chadwick

Steve Coggins / Rountree Losee LLP

Robby Collins / Collins & Collins Law Offices, PLLC

Mimi & Tom Cunningham

Ben & Stephanie David

Paul Davis / Service Roofing & Sheet Metal Company

Bo Dean & Michael Freeze

Tom Dodson / South State Bank

Anna Erwin

Chris & Lisa France

Donna & David Girardot

Bobby & Lou Greer

Sid & Susan Harrell

Robert High / Robert High Properties, LLC

Al & Melissa Hight

John & Jamie Hinnant

Terry & Nancy Horton

Bob Huffman

Pastor Wayne & Fredia Johnson / St. Stephen AME Church

Wilbur Jones / Wilbur Jones Compositions, LLC

Ann LaReau

Rick Lawson / Children’s Museum of Wilmington

Greg Lewis / Jacobi-Lewis Co.

John & Ann Lilly

John & Lou Anne Liverman

Howard & Elizabeth Loving

Karin MacKinnon / Coldwell Banker Sea Coast

Bernie & Judy Malman

Dick & Bobbie McGraw

Eric McKeithan / Great Estates LLC

Bill & Frances McMillan

Tom & Toni McMillan

John & Peggy Meehl

James & Robin Mertesdorf

John & Kate Meyer / Cape Fear Publishers

Janet Monterose / JB Diving

Shaun Olsen / CloudWyze, Inc.

Elliott & Barbara O’Neal

Joe & Becky Owen

Laura W. Padgett

Julie Rehder / The Davis Community/Champions

Gabe Rich / Riverside Dental Arts

Chris Riley

Bill Rhodes / RA Jeffreys

Nick & Deloris Rhodes

Bill & Kay Rose

Harley & Terry Sacks

John & Vicki Alpern Scott

Jake & Rosemary Shepherd / Let A Shepherd Be Your Guide

Ellen Solomon

Margaret Weller Stargell / Coastal Horizons Center

Jim & Fran Summerlin

University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Patrice Willetts / The Property Shop

Don Wood / DGW Business Forms & Systems

Steve & Suellen Yates

Rob & Michele Zapple

Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self



to the


Rotary Club

for 100 years of service

Thank you

to our many sponsors

for generously supporting

Rotary’s service to our

community and the world

Proudly supporting

The Wilmington Rotary Club

David Russ

Russ Medical Specialties

John & Pat Hatcher

Commitment to Patients

Commitment to Community

ColemanBurgess, DDS

Comprehensive Dental Care

Cosmetic . Implant . TMJ Therapy

Locally Owned since 1997

100 South Lumina Ave. 910-256-4646

Wrightsville Beach, NC www.southbeachgrillwb.com

60 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


to the Wilmington Rotary Club

on a century of service

Rex Rexroad

RexroadLoweth Wealth Management



PHONE (910) 762-9304


Serving our community for 35 years

Bill Fuller William Fuller

Land Buildings 321 NORTH FRONT Leasing STREET Projects



NHRMC is proud to support

Wilmington Rotary.


on a Century of Service.


Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

NHRMC_Rotary_3.675x4.875.indd 1


2/24/15 4:39 PM


Algernon L. Butler, III

Chapter 11

Chapters 7 & 13

Financial Consultation & Insolvency Advice

(910) 762-1908


printing · direct mail

posters & banners · promotional items

fulfillment services

database management

3405 market street

wilmington, nc 28403


order online today...


“The best way to

find yourself is

to lose yourself

in the service

of others.”


Thank you for giving us

the opportunity to serve.

Dale and Sharon Smith


to Wilmington Rotary Club’s

100th Year of Service!

David Jones Pete Jones

Janet Monterose


With seven locations proudly serving

Southeastern North Carolina since 1980

Lynn and RB Richey


our club’s 100th Anniversary

1915 2015

Howard & Martha McCain

62 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self

Celebrating 100 years!


The Murchison Group of Wells Fargo Advisors


The Wilmington Rotary Club on your 100th

Congratulations to the

Wilmington Downtown Rotary

on 100 Years!

The Murchison Group of Wells Fargo Advisors

6752 Parker Farm Dr., Suite 300

Wilmington, NC 28405

Office: (910) 509-5252


w w w.BusinessMadeCasual.com • 910. 2 51. 5101

Investment and Insurance Products: u NOT FDIC Insured u NO Bank Guarantee u MAY Lose Value

Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of

Wells Fargo & Company.

© 2011, 2013 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved.


74127-v4 A1703

In memory of

DeWitt Merritt

Diane Merritt Karr

Legacy Member

‘Service Above Self’


& Paula



The area’s only board-certified Colon and

Rectal Surgeon is proud to support the

Wilmington Rotary Club


Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


9054-01 Dr Payne Sponsor Rotary Ad.indd 1 2/5/15 2:26 PM


is a proud sponsor of the

Wilmington Rotary Club










9054-02 Proud Sponsor Rotary Ad.indd 1 2/5/15 2:27 PM



from the

Shiro family

PDG Russ La Belle

PP & AG Jeff Newman

Member Seth Newman



Honoring and celebrating

100 Years

Wilmington Rotary Club

Congratulations on

your Centennial!



910.799.3520 • 1.800.BOB.KING • BobKing.com

64 Wilmington Rotary Club: 100 Years of Service Above Self


2524 Independence Boulevard

Committed to supporting

the Wilmington Rotary Club

Todd Godin

Bret Paterson

Chad Pearson

Patricia Watts and her late husband Thurman Watts

Supporters of the Wilmington Rotary Club & the Rotary Foundation

Patricia Watts


Wilmington Rotary Club: A Century of Service Above Self

We’re keeping

the wheels




Rotary clubs


research to



Coins for Alzheimer’s



for a more

peaceful world.

Peace Fellowships

Rotary District 7730

originated with the

Wilmington Rotary

Club in 1915. We

are proud to join

in celebrating

this milestone.





last year to




feed people

in need


Stop Hunger Now



service clubs

for high school


Youth Leadership




100 years of Rotary

in southeastern North Carolina

Our District


of N.C.


care & support

for youth

Boys & Girls Homes


and conflict


Polio Plus

Aiming to

eradicate Polio

from the world



service clubs

for college


Over 100 more


to make a

difference in

the world


Supply and


Nourish NC

Ensuring school

children eat on

weekends and

school breaks



7730 is:







and cure


Areas of



and child



in 32 cities

and towns in


North Carolina




across 15



and basic


Congratulations to the Wilmington Rotary Club

starting a second century of Service Above Self!

Vanessa Ervin, District Governor 2014-2015

and all the Rotarians of southeastern NC

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